I can’t read. I shove words into my face to soothe my collapsing chest, but my eyes skid over the lines and my mind wanders into terror. I have more grey hairs than last time I thought about it, more doctor’s appointments, more house plants, more skin tags. Less time.
Jenny wears orange, she dyes her hair orange, wears orange clothes and orange slippers and each wall of her house is painted a different shade of orange. Its warm. She has boxes of tissues just where you need them and a picture of a cat leaping into the sky pinned up in the hallway. She lives near a place called New York and as I drive out there for my appointment I remember that song.
Soon, I’ll turn the light on. Walk my slippers through the empty house to run a bath and boil the kettle. When I am clean and the sun has come up pink down the street, I will put on my brown check skirt that used to be too tight. I’ll wear a body so that my tights don’t fall down and I’ll take my time drying my hair. A combination of beautiful and robust.
When I leave the house I have two hours to kill and I’m looking for an anchor, half an hour here, a message to send, excuses to take the slow way round. I go to the library I know will be warm and eat the fruit from my bag. A woman says to her friend that on a five point scale she feels three today, and one of the librarians is asking a colleague about how to process a loan from the music library if it comes through the analogue catalogue. I wonder if Ralph ever comes in here to kill time, eat fruit, think through what he wants for his life or use the wifi.