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A Legend, Mate

November 12th, 2010 by the_lifer

Winona trips lightly into Wazzer’s bar on Friday night. Her best friend and her partner are there, looking subdued. “Hi angels, what’s up?”

“Did you know –” Her friend Willow mentions a name. When Winona shakes her head, Willow adds, “You said you liked her hair, she had her hair like this,” throwing in a complicated loopy gesture.

“Her, yes, I think I talked to her once at a party, maybe. Why?”

“Uh, she’s dead,” Will says, shuffling his beer around on its coaster.

“Dead?” Winona gasps. “Oh. How sad. She was our age, wasn’t she?” Nods all around.

She blinks. “It’s such a nice day – it doesn’t seem right, somehow, when it’s so pretty out.”

“‘Her mates down there are drinking doubles,” Wazzer mutters.

Trying (and failing) to be discreet, the four of them glance down the bar. A crowdlet radiates bohemian mana and sadness in equal measure. Winona would like to know how she died, to go over there and give her condolences, but she knows that would be intrusive. At that party, months or years ago, she hadn’t extended her one conversation with that woman because she had felt shy and awkward. And now?

And now there was a face missing from those women you saw around, breezy and edgy, who made you feel lucky when they talked to you. One less embodiment of intelligent Wellington chic. Winona remembers the missing one walking down the street,  shoulders curled inward, hands in her coat pockets, smiling before sliding around a corner. Like a sleek grey cat, a spirit of place, a glimmer of a legend.

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