This isn’t a fictional story and so doesn’t really belong in this blog, but I’m putting it in.
I was walking from Parkdale Station to the library this afternoon when a woman approached me. She was probably in her fifties, almost shoulder-length blond/grey hair and wore three-quarter pants, runners and a t-shirt. She clutched a green bag. She walked toward me with some kind of intent in her eye. I headed to one side of her to pass, but she also headed this way. It was clear she was going to talk to me so I paused my iPod and took out the earphones.
“I’ve just had one of those moments… this woman stopped me… she was one of those women… excuse me, I hope you don’t mind, I needed to tell someone.”
She wasn’t breathless, but seemed to change sentence as she breathed. She was not aggressive, but had an insistence in her face. I spent much of the conversation trying to figure out if she thought she knew me. Or if I knew her and had forgotten.
“She was one of those women, you know what I mean?”
She stopped, waiting for an answer.
“No, I don’t know what you mean,” I replied.
“One of those women… thinks she’s better than anyone…” I missed a bit here as she mumbled. “You know what I mean?”
“No. I don’t really.” I wondered if I should just agree to appease her, but didn’t.
“One of those women who… when they have sons… their son is the best at everything… nose in the air… you know?”
“Oh, yes, I get it. Yeah, I know.”
“Anyhow she came up to me… I thought I saw it behind me… then it came up to me…” At this point, the woman she was talking about went from ‘she’ to ‘it’ for the rest of the conversation. “I couldn’t believe it… I couldn’t believe what I saw… I looked again and there was it…” The wind blew her hair into her face. “I’m getting this all off tomorrow… you know?”
“Oh, yes, ok.”
“So it said to me… and I looked down… and I don’t mean to be… but it had on its feet… I’m getting this off… it’s constantly getting in my way… it had bare feet and… an apron… you know what I mean?”
“Ok. Sure. Yeah.” I was getting confused and wondering if it was me or her. At this point, I really just wanted to go.
“She was nasty… said the things… they’re often like that… like this one behind me…” I looked over her shoulder. Not a single person in sight.
“She was that age… you know… about… seventy… or so…”
“Anyway, thanks for listening… I just needed to tell someone… I’m getting this cut tomorrow… I had it done at a place at it cost the bull’s fortune….” I can’t guarantee this is what she said, but it made about as much sense. We both moved past each other.
“Sometimes you’ve just got to vent!” I said as an attempted cheerful goodbye.
“What? Yes… thanks… yes…” and she walked away.
I take back ever thinking that all the crazies were in Fitzroy or St Kilda or the Yarraville Gardens.