September 21, 2011

that woman you see everywhere…

This week’s task is to choose someone you dont know in your neighbourhood and write about a conflict they may be living with….

She’s what my mother would call lithe, the type of person who might fall down if a big gust of wind blew too strongly. I’m perplexed by her – she’s the person in your neighbourhood that you see everywhere. On your way to work, while walking the kids to school, on a late afternoon dash to the supermarket for dinner – there she is…black kelpie in tow, double pram with wheels as large as a dumptruck…one mini child, one maxi (well a baby and a toddler…) she’s powering through the streets with the steely determination of a woman on a mission.

At first I thought she was on some post baby weightloss crusade. What else could it be other than the attempt to reverse the ravages of child rearing – I imagined in her private moments she stared at streaky stretched skin, nana undies and a resounding dissatisfaction with the reflection in the mirror. It isn’t as easy as that – it wasn’t the weight she was marching away from, or the silencing loneliness of being at home with small people it was the husband who lay propped up in the guest room. It was funny how small the room had looked once the hospital sent home a special bed to make him more comfortable…she could hear the hum of the machines keeping him alive, the slow rhythmical pattern of his shallow breath from the other room where she camped out with the kids. The walking let her escape, it let her listen to sounds that didn’t resemble The End it gave her a chance to watch the days get longer, the wind warm up and the local children go about their daily rituals of picking flowers and twigs on the way to and from to school…it gave her time, time that he no longer had.

Join the conversation! 11 Comments

  1. There’s always someone that seems to be everywhere isn’t there?

    A different story behind each person and if we stopped to think about it I wonder how wrong we would be in our assumptions of them.

    This seems like it could be the start of an ongoing story.

  2. It was odd..I finished writing it and stepped outside and there she was again…she perplexes me! I thought about linking it with the WoW piece a couple of weeks back with the one liner as a way of looking at alternate narratives within the one story. I met a social worker at a uni thing last week who told me that we all look for the story behind the story but maybe this would be about the assumptions as well as the truths – I guess something more to think about. Thanks for stopping by Sarah (great name!)

  3. I really liked this. The woman in the pram sounds like me – double pram, determination, kelpie.
    I would make a new paragraph where we turn to the husband, I found this got a little lost in the detail. Just a niggle though, loved this piece. Would love to see this developed into a bigger piece. 🙂

    • Thanks Karen…one of my biggest challanges lately, in both writing and my studies, is the constant niggling worry about word limits versus being given the space to let things just flow…also the more I watch this woman the more Im concious of the grimace I have on my face pushing my bub up really steep hills (just in case anyone is watching and writing about me)…thanks for the tips – really appreciate it.

  4. Oh now I am very curious on why she walks and walks! I agree with the above, the husband got a little lost in the detail but I thought it was a great story!

  5. Intriguing story. There is actually a woman around my neighborhood with a very similar description, but always with four young children. Makes me wonder what she’s up to as well.

    • thanks kerry…i subscribed to your blog after seeing your comments on WoW 2 weeks ago – its really easy and engaging to read – thanks for reading my work…Sarah

  6. That poor lady, I can’t imagine what it would be like to have so much to look after and worry about without the constant reminder of the sound of machines keeping your loved one alive. Very intriguing indeed…I want to know what happened to her husband.

  7. oh yes, do have a chat with her… days with a maxi and a mini can be monotonous…


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