Part1: Going down
He stood at the sidewalk looking down at the storefront with the neon pot leaf. He walked down the concrete steps and checked out his reflection in the glass store front. A scarf raised around his face. His faux lined hood covering the rest of his head. Just the eyes showed. He hoped no one would ask to see if he had a mask on his face. He made every effort not to wear one. This was his attempt at sneaky civil disobedience.
He stepped down into the store and searched along the glass display case. Bright colours, metallics, glass pieces with odd shapes melted into them. He searched over the odd, high inducing objects, until a clerk caught his eyes. He then asked the clerk for a battery powered vape-pen. The tall clerk stood above the pens, leaning down over them as he pushed his hips into the display case, listing the prices until the hooded customer asked to him stop.
“I’ll just take the cheapest.” he flirted from behind his scarf. The clerk smiled from behind his mask, eyebrows darting up once, as he started to give a walk through on how to charge the vape-pen, even though the man in the hooded jacket did not ask him for instruction.
Leaving the store he pulled his scarf up higher on his nose. As he tightened his scarf behind his neck he wondered if the clerk would have even cared if his face was hiding mask-less behind the scarf. He smiled at the thought of them both revealing their looks. He left and kept his scarf covering his face as he walked up the steps from the store. He began to peak over the top flight of the stairs as he saw a white maintenance van, windshield blurred from the grey winter sky, that must have parked at the top of the stairs while he was flirting in the store, buying a vape-pen.
Part 2: Coming up.
A man in a work van noticed a guy in a large winter coat stepping up to the sidewalk. The steering wheel squeaked under his tensing hands as they ringed the plastic covering at the sight of the scarf hiding that face. He saw that the faux lined hood covered most of what the patterned scarf did not cover. Only the eyes showed.
The man in the van had torn memories from the country he had left. A country where no one could show their faces. All had to be covered. except the eyes. The 2020 elections had got him panicking. Panicking because he believed the rulers he fled had used their influence to rig the elections here, in this free land, and that this meant that they were on the verge of a global take over. He thought the person coming up the stairs was being overtly complacent — foolishly flaunting his submission like an arrogant fashion endeavour — towards current totalitarian health measures. A user of false virtues signalling that the end is nigh . He had seen this before. How it started. He had wished, that before, he had acted sooner. Panic drew out what was coming as that scarfed and hooded keeper of his past world brought all of those torn images towards him. Who was behind the scarf was who should have been placed with in his past. Panic put his foot on the gas. It also pulled the lever down from park into drive. The van rammed down the steps. The person in the jacket collapsed under it with ease as the van crashed down the concrete stairs, scraping itself up against the concrete wall to its right, smashing the front bumper into the bottom flight. The bumper catches as the rear wheels lift up momentarily. They set back down in that bumper first incline on the stairs. The man in the white work van glows from the green neon pot sign two meters in front of his shining windshield. He sees one of the store’s clerks standing up from behind the counter of colourful, metallic, odd shaped things. Underneath he couldn’t feel the silence of the stoner who only ever showed his eyes, nothing left but a momentary absence from regret.