Saturday, May 05, 2007

Characters we have met

Majic is a bit of a nervous nellie. He isn't barking or going crazy at his reflection in parked cars any more, but taking him up to the Big Road with Lots of Traffic is often too much for him. When the beeper goes as the pedestrian light changes he lurches out into the road, strangles himself with his check chain and generally goes berserk. Instead of going that way, then, I take him on a much quieter route. We go the same way every time, as I think it might be calming for him.

On the way we have encountered some interesting people. On a small road next to the railway line there are two particularly interesting ones, living three doors apart.

The Woman on the Bed

This is our first encounter, if you can call it that. A small white single storey terrace. The door is almost always open, whether it be really early morning, middle of the day, evening, whatever. There isn't much furniture. As I can see right into the front room I see a pile of telephone books, and a bed on the wall opposite the door. There is a woman there, on the bed. It is hard to tell how old she is - she is plump and shapeless and dresses very drably - trakkies, I guess, indeterminate. She is almost always there. She must get up and go to the loo sometimes, but rarely do I see an empty bed or a closed door. Sometimes she is reading, or doing a crossword puzzle (I think.) Sometimes she is asleep. One morning about two weeks ago I got a real surprise. She was up! Standing! Outside!!! She was putting something in her bin, which was in the front. "Good morning" I said. She looked shocked. Majic and I were moving fast, so I don't know whether she acknowledged the greeting - she may have done. The Morning Report now includes a note about whether the Woman on the Bed was there, and whether there was anything noteworthy about her that day.

The Lady with Two Hearts

Three doors along lives another elderly woman, probably Italian. She is like our neighbour Alex, in that she is a pack rat. Her front garden is FULL of stuff - old paint tins with plants, plastic bottles, all arranged neatly. I've glimpsed inside and there is more of the same. Sometimes she is at her upper window (this is a two storey terrace) leaning out, shaking her head sadly. Sometimes she is very friendly and wants to talk, particularly to the dog, who jumps up and squiggles and behaves like the happy puppy he is. On one of these occasions she talked at length about dogs she had had in the past, German Shepherds, I think. This morning she also wanted to tell me about all her operations. The jumper went up to show me the big scar on her abdomen. Then one shoulder pulled across to show where her second heart had been removed. Huh? She repeated this several times, explaining about her second heart, and did I understand? No, I didn't understand. Majic and I went our merry way.

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