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.