17 April 2010
The Alice Project, #2. 7.15 am, Friday 16th April
The city centre, yesterday :: I am walking in front of three young German tourists. As we near the Arts Centre, I stop to let an elderly man finish taking a photo of his beautifully dressed partner (they were obviously tourists too, I think Italian from their accents?). The Germans almost collide with me, then see why I've stopped and they wait also. The elderly man, behind his camera, doesn't see that we are there but his wife does. The camera clicks and we continue walking, but the young German boy skips into place next to the elderly Italian woman and adopts a gallant pose beside her. The German girls giggle and scold and the smile stays on my face all the way to my car.
At the hairdresser, this morning :: The hairdresser asks me how I would like my tea and I tell her. We are catching up while the tea brews. I haven't seen her for six months; she's been away from her salon having treatment for breast cancer and has only just returned - very part time. She talks of the huge importance of having women friends around her at this time, supporting and nurturing her. I take a sip of my tea and realise she has forgotten the sugar. She's still talking, and I can't bring myself to interrupt. The moment passes. I drink the tea.
My car, this evening :: I have four 14 year old boys in my car. I am driving them to a party far far away, listening to them talk about friends, teachers, parents; boasting and bluffing, affectionately giving each other a hard time as teenage boys do. At one point we crest a hill and laid out before us is an enormous low-hanging golden sliver of a new moon. I exclaim and point it out, and one of the boys says Wow, nature is just perfect sometimes. When we arrive at the party, (down a very rough dirt lane off a dirt road in the pitch darkness) and they tumble out of the car before I've even cut the engine, the boy whose voice has been the loudest, whose swagger exceeds the others' combined, turns to me and says with impeccable manners Thank you for driving us Susan. Please drive safely on the way home, it's such a long way. Thanks again! I walk them to the door to hand them over to the host's mum despite my son's embarrassment, and the boy thanks me again politely before disappearing into the bedlam with the others.
Feeding my babies, this afternoon