The woman with frayed hair walks by the flea market, eyes on the colorful array of porcelain ware but not seeing them.
She mustn't be one who takes care of her appearance much: her violet T-shirt is wrinkled, and doesn't match her black sweatpants too well. Her black sling bag she held over her belly, a violet scarf slung over it. Her leather shoes - black. At this particular moment, she looks like a ninja who's just been splashed with violet paint.
Walking right past her is an elderly couple, dressed also in black - both of them, from head to toe. They didn't notice the resemblance.
This moment, this precise moment where a mesh of black punctuated by violet is smeared over the center of the picture, the picture that's inevitably in your head right now, finds the three of them in the following states of mind:
The woman with frayed hair had just left her house in a hurry, provoked by her mother who had thrown away her contact lens case by mistake. "How in the world," she fumed, "can anyone think a contact lens case is trash?" And here comes your doubt (if you're acute enough): why would a woman who walks out her house with her hair frayed and her shirt crumpled care to wear contact lenses? The thing is this: this woman with frayed hair had just gotten to know a man a few months ago and was about to go out on their first physical date. At the suggestion of a colleague, she went to an optician's and haggled a trial pair of contact lenses, just for the occasion. And that pair, which came in a free case, was the exact one her mother had thrown away. So at this moment, she is on the way to the optician's again to (hopefully) haggle another trial pair. The date, after all, is in two days.
The elderly lady, on the other hand, is experiencing mixed feelings. Earlier, her husband had left the water running for a good half an hour. Probably more. And when she came into the living room and saw the running tap in the kitchen, her husband was lazing on the sofa and watching the news, completely oblivious to what was happening. On the other hand, she was glad that he had realized his mistake and offered to take her out to lunch, as a form of apology. This being the first lunch they are doing outside in almost three months, she is, in spite of her anger, somewhat excited.
The elderly man was, at that point in time, trying hard to suppress his feelings of contempt and hatred for his spouse. This morning, he had, on a whim, decided to help wash the dishes seeing that his wife was having a stomach upset. Because of his bad hearing, he mistook the sound of the next door neighbor's running hose as rain, and rushed out in the middle of the washing to take down the clothes that's been hung out to dry. When he realized his mistake, he returned to the living room to take a breather - and thanks to his failing memory, he completely forgot the washing. It wasn't until his wife started yelling at him that he remembered the unwashed dishes. "Why should I be treated like this, when I was only trying to help? And is it my fault that I have a bad memory? Don't you also forget things all the time?" If he still had a complete set of teeth, he would have clenched them in anger now. For now, he settled for breathing hard through his nostrils, like an agitated bull. We are going to eat crab porridge, like it or not. If you don't you can go cook your own food. Old hag.
Our precious moment of scrutiny came to an end, as the woman with frayed hair turned and left the scene in search of her elusive lenses, and the angry couple dwindled gradually into the distance until they became a speck of black in the background, and finally nothing.