Thunderstorm Couture

While I nursed a cup of black coffee on the Upper West Side of Manhattan on a gray day, the sky suddenly opened and torrents of rain pummeled the pavement.  A woman in her early 70s who had been sitting opposite me got up to leave.  She dashed out of the cafe, a blur of magenta sweater and permed peroxide curls.  

A moment later, the same woman rushed past in the in the opposite direction, a bright yellow plastic bag from the supermarket next door cocooning her hair as an ill-fitting rain cap and another tied around her neck, a crinkly cape fit for a not-so-powerful superhero fluttering behind her as she hurried on her way uptown.