Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.
A woman on her balcony turns her back to the street and raises her arms in a wide V overhead. She stretches at her reflection in the balcony windows. She reaches for the sky again, twice more, then bounces in a set of jumping jacks, her arms up and down, her perfectly styled bun unmoving. She wears a long sleeved black shirt and observes her lean leaping frame in the windows, quitting after a brief, invigorating set.
She turns to face the street and delicately lifts a white mug to her lips. A moment later, she replaces the mug with a toothbrush and cleans her teeth overlooking the street. From time to time, she spits into the boxes of plants and flowers that line her elegant balcony. She sips from the mug, brushes, and spits. Over and over.
I spot her from below, standing on the platform as I wait for the U4 subway train. During the jumping jacks, I rifle through in my bag for my notebook and pen. As I scrawl her morning routine, a couple to my left gaze up to see what I see, step a bit to the right to get a better view. An old man who fails to read over my shoulder finally looks up to see for himself. We spend five minutes waiting for a delayed train, watching the thorough public toothbrushing. Unaware of her audience, the woman moves inside. As her balcony door closes, our train arrives and we go our separate ways.