Feelings

Waiting for the 59. 6pm.

Just behind the bus stop a man and a woman were standing side by side, stock-still, looking out on to the street.

The woman said, without turning her head, ‘Gloria was saying to me, “I think you’ve lost weight!”, and then when I took off my jacket she was saying, “Ah no, you haven’t actually.”‘

‘Charming.’ The man began scrolling through messages on his phone.

The woman continued to face forward. ‘My parents used to tell me I was fat when I was growing up. When my mother said it I cried. When my father said it I cried like a baby.’

This seemed to me to be quite a profound thing to confess, especially to someone who wasn’t really listening. I guess sometimes we just have to share what’s in our heart.

Does it make any difference to you that the man and woman were both police officers, in full uniform (padded shirt and trousers, hi-vis jackets, reinforced boots, helmets, puffy gloves)? They were standing by the bus stop as part of their evening patrol.

They were so still. They reminded me of a set of IKEA salt and pepper pots – round and sort of earthen.

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