It wasn't until the raindrops started singing that I began to think something may have been off. Just slightly. But honestly, how am I supposed to pay attention to all of this? I was, I am, a busy person. There's stuff to do, people to see, clichés to list. Could anyone honestly expect me to notice flashing flowers or dancing leaves?
I blame it on mass media. The advancements in animation have just desensitized my brain to the abnormal, the strange, and violence, or so I've been told by mobs of angry mothers.
I would have noticed, you see, if my society hadn't distracted me. Or maybe I wouldn't have noticed them, just the fact they were following me. Bizarre things do not follow me. Why would they follow me?
Do leaves and flowers have the ability to sense my facial expression? Do I release some hormone that flies into their faces so they can sense my hurry?
No. No, I guess not, because leaves and flowers don't normally walk along with you down the street, do they? Little disco parties are not usually a few inches high, parading in broad day light.
I was on my way to work, as I am every morning from seven thirty to eight. (I'm never late, in case you were wondering.) I stopped at the coffee shop to get my fix, being the caffeine addicted druggy that I am, and kept going, my pace quick and mindless.
Maybe, it's the mindlessness that got in my way. You would think I'd be looking for a break in the monotony, but I guess monotony has had its way with me, and I am focused, hooked by its charm.
Anyway, I was walking, coffee in hand, cap carefully removed, struggling with the pink packets of sugar, or whatever they call what's inside –sweetener, there you go– because I am stubborn. I refused to walk over to the island they have nicely set up for customers and pour myself real sugar. You know, that white grainy stuff in the long, fat glass container, with a rectangular metal flap on top. Yes, I too have fallen into the clutches of healthy living. I have given up the joys of eating delicious foods for the gym and those weird sprouting things that taste of garbage. I am not proud of it, but, what can I say?
I cautiously stepped over the open manhole, securing the cap back on my plastic cup, sweetener stirred in, red and white stirrer discarded. In a trash can, mind you. I don't litter either.
As I went to step up onto the curve, I noticed a trail of leaves laying out behind me, six behind each of my feet, evenly spaced. Flowers lay between them, down the middle of these perfect rows, flashing different colors.
I must say, I was disturbed. No, disturbed really isn't the right word to use, is it? I was curious in the way driving motorists are curious to see the accident alongside the road. Curious in the way pedestrians stop and lean against barricades to watch movies being filmed. Curious in the way that dogs tilt their heads sideways, with wide wondering eyes, but like in all these situations, my attention was a childish one: unfocused and easily swayed.
A car honked, and I stepped up onto the curve. I looked behind me once more, the little stalkers had followed me. They lay motionless once more, the colors flashing brighter. I probably should have taken notice at this point, and I am genuinely surprise I didn't. I could have at least thought myself loony and skipped down the street naked, shouting at the top of my lungs some made up song I could've created on the spot. However, I did nothing, absolutely nothing, but shrug, eyeing the creepiness in my peripheral vision, and continued.
Busy, busy, with no time to loose.
I arrived at my office building on time, as always, flashing my card before the security scan. The light flashed green, and I walked in, letting out a sigh. The cool air felt wonderful against my skin, and without missing a step, I clicked along to the elevator, looking quite sassy in my heels, if I do say so myself.
I pushed the button with the arrow pointing up, the surrounding plastic illuminated in red. A ding sounded, and I walked into the brightly lit metal box. The doors closing.
Inside, I pressed the sixteen button and stared down at my feet. The leaves and flowers were neatly lined as the lights in the elevator dimmed. All the colors of the rainbow reflected against the mirrored walls, music blaring up through each filament, erupting from the anthers. My lungs themselves vibrated from the intensity of the sound around me.
Ding. The doors opened, a co-worker smiling at me.
I grinned, returning her good morning back to her.
Damn, I felt like a dancing queen.
My office is on the far side of one set of offices. Don't ask how many. Too many. You would get lost. I kid you not. At my desk, the leaves and flowers settled down beside me, dancing around the room a minute. I would think I'd need to get situated as well, but I guess, if I had to, I could get settled in right quick. If I were part of nature, I mean.
Slowly, I leaned back in my chair. Not too far, of course. Mine is one of those chairs that goes back much farther than it should, scaring the daylights out of those who don't know better or cannot force their minds to memorize the motion.
The colors blended into one another, a soothing light roving around my office.
I gazed out the window, looking down at the city. My drive to work dissipated, lost to the hypnotizing colors.
A light rain had begun to come down on the city, the glass spotted with rounded drops. Without warning, as if I'd expected some sort of hint as to what was coming next, the drops started to sing, dancing as they slid down the glass. The flowers floated upward, steadying themselves just beside the glass. The leaves lined the sill. Once again the lights dimmed and the music roared. A choreographed dance played out before me, swirling patterns, graceful and fluid.
I melted down on the floor, gazing up above at my dancing stalkers, the ceiling gone or transparent, I can't remember which. The little drops paused on their downward journey, inches from my face, dancing merrily through the air, surrounding me in a rainbow of colors.
I laughed and laughed, giddy and girlishly sprawled on the floor, a toddler, so completely entertained by the sights prancing joyously before me.
Gradually, the drops said their goodbyes, the flowers and leaves drifting rhythmically down towards the congested street. My hair blown around, disheveled and untidy, I rose from the floor, placing my shoes back on my feet. When had I taken them off?
I straightened my suit jacket, and left my coffee sitting, hot and steaming on the counter.
It was still raining outside, and damn it, I wanted to dance.