The train wasn’t going fast enough. He became agitated. All this being in places and doing things you weren’t interested in. For a moment distracted by the movement of the woman sitting across the aisle. He looked down at the blue carpeted floor. Looked down at her shoes. Pedial architecture. Why did women have so many more pairs than men? The statistic said men spent more on clothes and shoes but their wardrobes and shoe racks were less densely packed. There were the sly glances at her legs and the most difficult one, at her face. All the usual questions began to come forward; how old was she, what did she do, did she have a husband, a string of lovers, maybe she was alone, was she in fashion, was she creative, was she fussy about eating or did she succumb to bowls of chips and mayo and a myriad of other junk foods, perhaps she was a currywurzt addict. Then there was the large sunglasses. Protecting her soul. His mind was piling up the cross examination. She got up. Panic. She was getting off. Here was nowhere. Some nondescript destination. He looked down at her ankles. He heard the words, her words in his head, spoken in a French accent, With salt and vinegar. He looked up. She turned and smiled. She had removed her sunglasses. She was wearing a t-shirt with a print of an octopus or squid.
“It always rains when I come to this little town. The day and my shoes will be ruined.”
He watched through the glass and saw that she had been met by a man with an umbrella. Who was labouring as his other arm was in a sling.
The ferry crossing was slow. But it didn’t matter. He was thinking about the cafe on the pier. Imagining calamari with mayo and chips, with salt and vinegar. He decided the woman spent long periods of time in her office wearing training shoes. Resting her feet.
Sent from my iPad