She used to be an elegant pair of legs sheathed in the orange tights of the day and court shoes with heels of varying thicknesses. She always wore bright suits; royal blue or rich red with gold buttons and round clip-on earrings. She always wore foundation and sometimes there was a little tide mark of brown smeared under the line of her jaw or there would be lipstick on her teeth and toothpaste on her chin as she set off for the office. She would neither be here nor there; no sooner was breakfast over, she’d be defrosting the mince for the evening’s dinner or slapping sandwiches together for the children’s lunchboxes.
She used to be always moving, leaving the house, driving about, rushing from car to building to car and to the supermarket. The trolley in the supermarket suited her style. She could be observed swinging wildly around the ends of the aisles with her head bent forward as if giving a nod to the science of aerodynamics but then again, science was never her thing. But trolleys were. You could almost picture her clattering down the street, picking up conversations from passers by and flinging them into the trolley, running to the school gate, whipping friends off their feet from behind so that they tumbled, laughing into the end compartment designed for - what were they designed for? Flowers and baguettes. Is it normal to keep your flowers with the bread? Is it normal to keep the trolley after you’ve left the supermarket? Or to follow strange women around making accusations of them being off their trolley. Maybe it’s me who’s nuts. Maybe she’s not so interesting. Maybe she wants me to leave her. Maybe I’ve already gone. I can still see her but she suddenly seems smaller.