The revolving doors sucked me into the lobby. The tap of my black heels on the polished floor dissolved into the rumble of hundreds of black heels, following invisible trails to the escalator.
Every morning I looked at black heels on the escalator step in front of me. Not today. Today I looked at blue jeans, frayed at the hems. And feet. Bare. A dragonfly among the ants.
'Would you like to get out of here?' I didn't look up, but I knew who had spoken. Grains of sand clung to the frayed fabric at the bottom of his jeans. I wanted to feel them between my fingers.
'I can't.' The escalator rolled on under my feet, propelling me up to the grey-walled cubicles and the piles of paper I fed to the squatting computer.
I breathed in and smelt not deodorant and aftershave, but salt and earth. I looked up, into the eyes of the stranger, and they were full of gold.
At the end of the day he left me sitting, barefoot, on a beach without a name. Muscles slipped under the skin of his naked back as he walked away. I watched him until I couldn't see the muscles any more, couldn't see the difference between jeans and skin, couldn't see the silhouette of a man.
I looked down at the track his feet had left. One large round circle and four smaller ones; a trail of paw prints stretching across the sand.