Red Alert

As those of you who actually know me in “real life” know, I wear quite a lot of black, tempered occasionally with a bold splash of gray or a crisp exclamation of white. Well, today, in a fit of whimsy, I decided to wear a red tank top in order to really shake up this sleepy little town. Because that’s just the kind of girl I am.
The way I was carrying on inside my head, you would have thought I was not only the only person in Manhattan zany enough to wear red but the first person to ever wear it anywhere. What is that she’s wearing? people would whisper to each other as they passed me on the street. How dare you! an irate mother would admonish as she consoled her toddler who, upon seeing my shirt, burst into tears and hid behind her leg. I hadn’t felt like this much of a maverick since I had my nails painted “Wicked”.
As if my running interior monologue about my own bold fashion statement wasn’t enough to make me want to beat myself about the head and face with a stick, well, the commentary on other people’s readiness to wear red certainly warranted it. I just know she notices that I’m wearing red, too, I thought as a girl passed me wearing a red T-shirt. Should I smile at her or something, to demonstrate my solidarity?
I swore that everyone knew that it’d been years since I’d last worn red. I swore that they recognized my self-consciousness. I wanted at least one other red-wearer to give me some sort of acknowledgment, the way other MG drivers waved and flashed their lights at me when they passed me in mine.
So I went to Madison Square Park, where I, uh, read for a while. (By the way, the book I’m reading — “The Three Button Trick and Other Stories” by Nicola Barker — has a red cover. And no, I didn’t wear the shirt because it matched the book. I. did. not.) And there, at the “3:00” position around the empty fountain (I was at “6:00”), sat an attractive man in a red shirt. He kept looking over at me. Do you think he was thinking, Hey, we match! ?