::::

The first hour of the first day of the rest of Nina’s life

In Uncategorized on August 1, 2008 at 1:24 pm

Her clothes are the polyester which is always bought under flouro lights and which, even with the crowded aisle between them, Nina can feel grating her fingertips. The blues of her top and her pants do not quite match each other, but with only a little more grey either could match the clouds she insists are clearing.

When she speaks, she leans in to the woman next to her, but she never lowers her voice. She says, for example, ‘that must be the air conditioner making that noise’. She talks about the traffic at the Cross Road intersection, under the underpass, past the Showgrounds and over Greenhill Road. She says ‘bumper to bumper’ a lot and ‘imagine doing this every day’.

Nina closes her eyes against the woman, but if she keeps them closed too long she will fall asleep. She opens them again.

The woman wears no foundation, mascara, eyeshadow, but her nails and her lips are red. When her mouth is open, her lips are full, but when it is closed, they are thin. So thin they are barely a line and without the lipstick you might not know that they’re there. She wears thick gold earings and a diamante-clustered owl above her sagging breast.

Nina’s head has started to thump again. Her chest is tight and her ears have started to ring.

‘This is our stop,’ the woman says at the Grote Street market stop and, it must be because she’s assumed that the woman would be with her until the last North Terrace stop, that Nina only now sees the shopping bags.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: