She’s just at the end of my little street. I’ve been walking past her, several times a week, for twenty months, without even noticing. This is because I always keep my eyes pinned to the floor, trying to dodge the cat shit.
Uploading these photos reminded me of an incident that happened about a year ago, involving two elderly ladies that live in a house around the corner from me. And when I say “elderly”, I mean ancient. They must be in their mid-90s. I see them out and about, clinging onto the arm of a young Indian lady, who must be their home help.
The two of them are always fully made-up, donning lots of blusher and green eyeshadow, hair freshly coiffed, dressed to the nines. From the ankles upwards, at least. They shuffle through the neighbourhood in their comfy slippers. Very sensible, I’m going to follow their example as soon as I can feasibly get away with it.
They are a chatty pair, though a bit hard for me to understand at times. Which is a shame, because they sound really interesting; I gathered that one of them used to be a lecturer of Greek and Latin at the University of Salamanca.
So, one night in June last year, I, my (visiting) brother and his friend were returning home after a meal out. We passed by the ladies’ window, and they called out to us. We went to see what was up, and one of them handed us a tin of sardines through the grate. They had been unable to open it with their gnarled arthritic little hands.
My brother pulled the lid off the tin in one smooth movement, and passed it back to them. It was 2am, the street is always totally dead at night. How many hours, we wondered, had they been sitting there, hungry, waiting for somebody to come by and liberate their paltry ‘dinner’? While the three of us were out, having a good time, drinking red wine and feasting on an enormous chicken and seafood paella… 😦