I heard a strained cackle coming from behind the bush.
It leapt out from the baseline din of the financial district plaza.
I put down my lunch and I put down my lunch break and peeked over the bush.
Big mane of bronze hair with a person beneath, vibrating second-wise.
They put both their hands down on the concrete bench and let out the strained cackle again, cackling until it was only a breathless roar.
They turned their face up towards me, a face scrunched up in please help me.
I leapt clean over the bush to their side, spraining my ankle not from the landing but from wasted and unfettered pride.
They held up their palm towards me, close so I could even smell the plaza concrete on their hand.
The palm had a splinter in it the size of a piece of wood.
Chopstick detachment gone wrong, lunch sushi boxes uneaten, pile of five.
I rummaged in my pocket array for my tweezer, for my brows had a daily rhythm.
I pinched gently at their palm, hearing the metal clip the wood, they pulled their hand away from the clip, the tweezer with it, the tweezer dangled as we stared at each other, the pump of the foundation piling of a new skyscraper shuddered nearby.
Clanging as the tweezer fell to the ground, shudder.
They looked at their palm, running their skinny fingers over the pinch point, smile that pushed their cheeks into their eyelids. Their arms wide open, shudder of the piles.
I picked up my tweezer from the ground, still grasping the splinter of failed chopstick.
They thrust a box of sushi in my face, the corner pressing against the tip of my nose in a rhythm.
I pull away and shake my head with a scrunched up smile.
Their face wide open, they rummage in their handbag and carefully hand me a business card , offering it with both hands.
I take it and gesture that I don't have one. For some reason, we have avoided language.
They hand me a notepad and a pen and I write down my email address.
They take it gratefully, bouncing on the bench, before checking their watch and gathering their sushi and launching away with a wave.
I jump back over the bush, straining my other ankle out of not pride but fidgeting. And finish my lunch, I look at the business card, it was made of polished bamboo, shades of all the browns possible, I turned it over to see the name, but it was blank, only another polished side, nothing but a brown reflection of my face, in front of a bush, in front of a crane. Shudder.
I keep getting pushed at my shoulder and I spin, I spin, in a tight spiral barrell roll I'm a vortex pushing away clothes racks in the department store.
In bed, my shoulder is being pushed, I need to wake up, there is someone outside with a car.
Outside, a brown executive saloon with large antennae and wing mirrors the size of watermelons.
I come up to the car, yawn condensation all over the window. The front door opens, and they with the big bronze hair is there, looking large in the car, their arms encircling the dashboard.
I sit down inside and close the door, their face wide open, they lean over to the back of the car to get a bamboo box from the rear seat, where the chauffeur is sitting with a joyful pout face, as if sucking on a sweet.
"The sweetness of them" the chaffeur says, nodding towards them with the big bronze hair.
They put the box in my lap and I make the box wide open.
A bamboo bracelet, perfectly circle, polished even sheerer than the business card, almost silver in the light of the car.
I held it up to the light and saw my face again, behind that their face wide open, behind that the joyous pout, behind that a crane again.
Their palm thrust into my face again, this time I smell fields of green, red roses too.
I put the bracelet on my wrist, it fit perfectly. They with the hair bounced on their seat again before revving the engine, pulling the handbrake, slipping the clutch, spinning the wheels and pulling the Earth towards us.
Fast past everything, on the road side, nothing blurs, instead everything rapidly spins 180 degrees as you pass them, until it's a car wash made of buildings.
My door window creeps down and a Brazillian leans in, they are holding a rich velvet cloth and a small spray, they spray on my bracelet and then polish it. Polished to even more of a brown reflective silver than before, and yet I felt nothing, not a single tug or push on my wrist, as if no-one was there. I started to slowly move my arm up and down, but they kept polishing without a single aberration or impact on me. I started to flap my arms fast, as fast as the buildings spun, but the Brazilian tracked it perfectly, it's as if no-one was there. When they finished polishing they pushed off from the car and they peeled off down a side road on their skateboard.
We drove and drove, until there was nothing left to spin, until it was only dark fields in the twilight, until a glass steel building appeared over the horizon.
We stopped and immediately them with the hair clambered into the back, the chaffeur pouted into the driver seat, then they got out and opened the door for me and them with the big bronze hair.