Mouse-like, she lived on the fringes of polite society. She was one of the the overlooked, ignored, unremembered and to others, unremarkable. The last to arrive, the first to leave.
“A bus to catch,” she’d murmur, gathering her beige handbag and creamy leather gloves, buttoning her tweed coat.
No one offered her a lift or turned to watch her go. Her departure a ruffle in the air, a whisper.
She had no partner to share her daily travails or life’s journey. She floated in a string of grey offices and tea-stained cafés. Stretching out a china cup of tea, nose in a library book, where they knew her as a regular.
She scribbled in lined old-school style notebooks, whilst waiting. Waiting at the bus stop or perched on the same graffiti pock-marked park bench. She ate her cellophane-wrapped sandwiches, always cut in neat triangles, smeared with Dairylea spread and Marmite. Brown and cream: her favourite colours.
“I am human marginalia,” she said, to the settee, to the kitchen table, to the hallway clock.
She watched others’ dramas erupt, implode and explode around her.
It was not her.
An early memory, her father bending down by the duck pond, patting her mousey hair.
“Best to keep quiet. Little girls are to be seen not heard.”
The ground rules laid early.