I wrote this one a number of months ago, after actually seeing a woman in an incredibly yellow raincoat on a day with no rain in sight, and I’ve been tinkering with it ever since. Something’s not working and I’m not sure what it is. I couldn’t quite figure out how to feel about the woman – she was stylish and cheerful and pessimistic all at the same time, and I wasn’t sure whether to love her or loathe her or covet her confidence – and I’m having the same problem with the story. If anyone has any feedback, I’d love to hear it.
I saw a woman on my street the other day, the upper half of her body wrapped in an almost painfully yellow raincoat and the lower few inches clad in a pair of dangerous looking stilettos that were white on top and yellow on bottom, like a slice of lemon meringue pie sharpened to a point. I stood at the window and watched her work her way down the street, ultimately arriving at the home of one of my neighbours. My neighbour, a minivan-driving-rugby-shirt-wearing-hair-receding-just-a-tiny-bit sort of guy, answered the door and, using his hand on the small of her back to guide her, escorted her inside.
Meeting with an overly handsy colleague who works from home, or the kind of get-together that we all love to see reported on (by the media or by the other moms in our playgroup) with words like “tawdry” and “liaison”? The longer I watched the door, the more convinced I was that a rendezvous was happening on the other side of it, some sort of tragically and deliciously sordid meeting with the kind of man who would appreciate the kind of woman who wears a yellow raincoat on a cloudless fall morning.
If you only see the first part of the story, you can write the ending however you want. I crawled back into bed and drifted off back to sleep, marinating in my own jealousy, wishing I had the audacity to wear a yellow raincoat on a sunny day, to dare the weather to disappoint me, to dare a lover to do anything but. I slept away the rest of the afternoon, missing her reappearance on the street, raincoat belted neatly around her waist, lipstick clean and pink, hair just a tiny bit mussed, a small wad of cash clenched tightly between her fingers.