Saturday, September 27, 2008

Other lives

A few pensioners returning from a coffee in The Square, a woman about 40 with a ponytail, and I were travelling on the 77A. No-one was particularly paying attention to the old lady alone in the front seat. The sun was shining, the traffic at least moving. Next thing she picks a mobile phone out of her bag and makes a call:

"I'm ringing," she says, in the posh voice that old ladies acquire when they are taking the high ground. "I'm ringing to tell you I am very sick and I'm on my way to the doctor. So there will be NO drinks, you'll be happy to hear, AND the phone will be OFF tonight!"

The little conversations about the bus buzzed low as everybody tried to listen in without being too obvious. The impact of the lady's pronouncement was hindered somewhat by the recipient being a little deaf.

"I said, I'm very sick and I'm on my way to the doctor."

"Yes, the doctor. I'm on the bus now."

"I'm nearly there. Goodbye."

She hung up and gazed out the window, everybody looking sidelong at her. She didn't look too unhealthy. In her early 70s, maybe. Large mop of hair with bold, blonde highlights. A spare woman, head held high, eyes peering out from behind her black rimmed glasses.

She stood up, clutching the smooth, chrome hand-holds with a fist full of heavy gold rings. Gathering her coat around her she marched imperiously to the exit.

When she'd gone, the conversations murmured on again, gradually buzzing louder about weather and gardens and the price of things.

1 comment:

Fitz said...

Well, if she's sick then a trip to the doctor was probably the best thing for all concerned.