Never smile at the elderly
We stand. I look at her but she.. Well, I think she sees me?
God she looks glorious. Off grey cardigan, and pants, and scarf, and socks remind me of a period I never knew. A retrospectively dignified age where values were upheld, people were respected and woman were beaten for declaring independent views.
I respected her immediately. She didn’t quite seem to notice me. I looked left and right across the busy road. She seemed to vere forwards and backwards against the just road – bothered not so much by the busy traffic as by the touch pavement underneath.
If it would not be for her hatred of immigrants, I’d assume that her detest for modern life lay in the disconnect between modern human society.
Regardless of this (it was within a few seconds after all) I decided she was the effervescent, radiant figure of all that was good in the western world.
She looked at me.
I looked at her.
Slowly, we took our steps across the busy mid-suburban roads. We walked together in tune and I noticed she waned slightly to one side. The years weighed heavily upon her and I could see she was longing for the human interaction she had missed for so long.
As we met, mid-road, our eyes met.
I smiled at her – hello (my eyes said). Seconds from offering my ready to help hands –
“John?” (her mouth/and eyes gleamed).
Without a moment’s pause the lady bashed me on the head with her handbag and began to wail obscenities toward me. She absconded me for such incredulity and made no uncertain reference that this would not happen in her day.
“Fucking Pokies” she wailed into the afternoon sky.
I couldn’t speak – think, lest to reflect that it had been my fault to impose.