photo by Steven Wei – here’s a bigger version
The city pressed him, the weight of twenty-four million people walking to work, sauntering through the parks, grinding the pavements under loafers and Oxfords and ridiculous wobbling heels – breathing his air.
Human contact was inescapable. Stepping outside his apartment, the sidewalks were clogged, every crossing or corner a blockage of flesh so bad he would walk on the road rather than feel the press of unfamiliar skin, causing torrents of abuse, fanfares of honks and horn blasts.
At night, after he’d sealed the windows and door with tape, he thought of the molecules that had penetrated him through the day – petrochemical, human, animal, invisible particles of saliva and ash and faeces and plastic, paper napkin fibres, pollen from the ash tree outside his window, every scent an invasion of his body by unstoppable forces, he a fortress with no form of defence.
Written for Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales. See the photo prompt and read the other stories here.