Behind the Hoarding

She is standing behind the construction hoarding, and she is peering around the corner, looking off down the street, her hand resting on the latch, flicking it back and forth as far as it will go.  I wonder what it is that she is watching, but the window of the cafe, large though it may be, restricts my vision, and it seems to me that she is looking at nothing at all, or perhaps that she is looking at everything, that she is essentially looking, quite apart from any object, and I wonder too whether to look like this, essentially, crucially, is also to hide, from nothing and from everything, whether looking must always also be a hiddenness and a separateness.

Her mouth is partly open, as if she is breathing heavily, but she cannot have been running.  She rests too easily against the wall, and there is no sweat on her loose, cotton tanktop, pink over black where it exposes her sports bra.  Besides, her loafers would not let her run far, though she wears athletic socks in them, white, pulled high on her calves.  No, she is not running, is not being chased by anything.  It is only that she must not be seen.  She shields herself behind the hoarding so that she can keep seeing all to herself, so that she might always be the subject and not the object of sight, and I, through the window, am destroying her hiddenness.

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