Friday, 22 February 2019

Dear Mary


                                                              by L. F. Roth

                                                       strawberry and lime cider

                                                                
 I happened to find myself at the station this morning, where I overheard a remark that made me prick up my ears.
         ‘It’s her birthday today.’
         The words came from a woman carrying a bag that spelled fashion. I made out the word Flip K.
         ‘It is?’ The person beside her, older by some years, slowed down. Her canvas tote bag was somewhat the worse for wear.
         ‘Sixty-five, they tell me.’
         Her companion shook her head.
         ‘More than that, I would have thought. She must be well into her eighties.’
         But the other disagreed.
         ‘Oh, no. Have you looked at her eyes? They are the eyes of an eighteen-year-old.’
         ‘True enough.’
         ‘And the way she moves. Her shoulders. Her hips.’
         ‘Like a young girl.’
         ‘Exactly.’
         They proceeded past me, but out of curiosity I followed them.
         ‘You have to look beyond the surface, though,’ said the one with the canvas bag. ‘Her poise. The aura that surrounds her. There is wisdom. She’s no sixty-year-old.’
         The one with the bag marked Flip K clearly took offence. She swung it around as she boarded the train, almost hitting her fellow traveller. I stepped back to avoid being caught by it, but as they disappeared, I thought I heard a name. It was yours, of course.
Happy birthday!


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