I wore my new coat. He’d bought it for me because I think he’d grown a bit tired of me getting his coat so wet, though he did offer it. That’s him all over, generous to a fault, though sometimes regretting it. I wore it. It took me a bit of time. I struggle with the new. I get used to things. It felt odd. It is very long and is fully, so it says, rain proof. I look like I am about to ride a horse across a prairie. It makes a shushing sound as I walk. It is marvellous and little ridiculous. I feel lost in it, anonymous. Nice body suit, a student called out to me as I passed between him and his mate talking on the Prom. Body suit? I wanted to say, it’s a coat. I saved it up for him, anyway, knowing it would make him laugh. Body suit? he called out to me from the shower, body suit?
It’s all change. New coat and new boots. My old ones developed a hole but I’d grown into them. I had them just right. These are stiff and unyielding. I walk like I’ve got wooden planks in my trousers. Ah, me. Old age. Gone is the fluidity. Will it ever return? My bodies are going too. My underwear that is. They will have to be replaced. It’s important to feel pristine close to the skin. I love beautiful underwear don’t you? Silky, something that holds you tight, close. I mend and mend them but to no avail. Time to go, to be replaced. But what with?
We saw a fox. It was early. It ran across the road just before our headlights. A small fox. Beautiful. I catch my breath at the gorgeous wildness of it. The gift of it. Thank you.
I must have compassion. I do have compassion. There is always a reason. People don’t generally mean harm, they, we just do our best. I want to feel kindly towards him. I’ve a lot of time for him, he said. Yes, I know. Why wouldn’t you? I wasn’t finding fault. He’s going to. A new boss, a new broom. A woman this time, apparently. Beware, she told me, beware of big organisations, they are drains. Drains and radiators. What am I? See the goodness, always. Always. He thinks me a Pollyanna, a little fey perhaps. But it is for me, you see, not them. See no evil. And I don’t. Not now, not ever.
I was less than friendly to all those women of a certain age sitting around that table. I don’t know why. I tried to warm a little. It wasn’t what I was expecting, that’s all. But there was something to learn. Certainly. And the scissors were lovely to hold. A child’s paper scissors, she thought. For that I am grateful.
She is my joy. Pure. Her smile. She smiled at me. I felt chosen. I was chosen. I am chosen.