But the man continued clapping. He sat cross-legged in the dust and clapped a rhythm with the steady taps of the fingers of one hand on the other palm. His head lost somewhere in the lands behind his closed eyes. His clapping made out a rhythm sad and melancholy, calling some Spanish senorita to one last dance.
Some dusky beauty with a twirling skirt, anklets on her feet, legs brown in the sun, clothes clean, yet stained with dirt and sweat of her life, her hair black as the night, tied up with a bandana the color of rainbows.
The man opened his eyes and looked at the girl, so unlike the girl in his mind, who threw a coin in front of him. He continued with his clapping, a beat now asking questions, cajoling, and teasing a reply out of the new listener. The hair gel in his hair melted slowly and shone on his head like a balm for madness.
The girl looked down at him, smiled, and said, "Sorry hon, not today, maybe tomorrow."
The man smiled back, nodded and kept on clapping.
The slow net connection almost seemed determined to not let me post the story before 12 today, but well, here we are, 11.41 PM IST. This one was inspired by the beggar I saw on the bus station who was asking for, well, money, but then I thought, hey put him in a sit and see how many people will give him money. And then, would babes pay him more attention than they were doing at that moment? Ah, I digress.