While Mary sat in the kitchen on a large pine chair looking at Hotter’s latest shoe catalogue,Annie was creeping up the garden path in a pair of turquoise suede elegantly heeled shoes matching her teal tencel culottes and matching blouse.Round her neck was a large lump of amber on a gold chain handy for beating off muggers or lustful men
Despite the heat she was in full splendour with golden beige tinted moisturiser from Langone of Lyons on her lovely complexion,pink eyeshadow from Yves St Current and dark brown boot polish as her mascara had run out and she’d not been out for a while to buy more
Annie ran the last few yards and darted like an eel into Mary’s 1970’s kitchen.
What on earth are you doing,dear? Mary asked her.Those shoes look unsuitable for leading anyone up the garden path.Mind you,I do like them
Oh,I’ll explain,Annie said huskily.
I told that therapist across the road I was living with you.
What exactly do you mean by living,Mary asked anxiously.
Well,he said yesterday that anyone who lives alone must be lacking in some way.Except for him of course as he had full analysis with Alfred Zion.
You mean Wilfred Bion,Mary told her.
Zion,Bion,what’s the difference?
It shows your lack of education,Mary told her.Not that education nowadays makes much difference when almost anyone can get a 1st or 2.1.After all would you pay £90,000 for a third class degree in Aeronautical Engineering?
That’s not quite what I would have done, said Annie.A degree in flirtation and pleasing men would be more up my street.And cooking of course although I once did have an interest in Hebrew and Aramaic.
It’s not a way to progress in a neo-liberal economy,although reading the Hebrew Bible is always interesting.Personally I prefer that to the New Vex-a man.The stories,the love songs,the action.Mary’s round eyes gleamed with intellectual life and a bit of languorous lust
How about God? Annie asked her.
He seems to have changed as he related to his people.But he was a friend despite being an abstract concept.Though one could hardly call him a concept as he is inconceivable.
Mary’s voice faltered as she was stunned by her own articulacy and wondered what she might say next that could offend millions around the globe.
You should write a book,Annie said kindly.
I think I am ill-equipped to write about God.And ,also ,I am saddened to see how his own people have been treated.I can’t dwell on it over much as I already feel weak and weepy.
Why what have you been doing,asked Annie.
I have been sorting out clothes to give to the hospice shop. I’ve got a big bag
full already and 2 bags of newspapers and rubbish of various kinds which somehow creeps into my bedroom… tissues,cotton wool, old hairbrushes.I am hoping to get it nice and neat before my sister comes to see me in August.And no doubt she will not be happy even then.She’d like me to buy a small new house with a lovely bathroom and kitchen. But I don’t want to leave my neighbours behind.If I won the lottery I could get the neighbours to move as well.Love thy neighbour etc
And now I realise I have far too many pans despite burning several.But it’s a big decision for a woman who was famed for entertaining friends with scorching Beef Vindaloo and lemon mousse that tasted like rubber.Giving that up is a big wrench.
Why can’t you carry on, asked Annie.
Carrying on is precisely why I can’t do it.Now I am a widow the wives of my former colleagues and my own women friends are afraid I will steal their husbands.
Emile miaowed in ecstasy as any talk about the love lives of his family were always intriguing.He was hiding as usual behind the stone flour bin.
Don’t you see,said Annie.If we pretend we are living together then you can mingle with men without suspicion.
This is beginning to sound like a spy story,Mary told her.And do not drag me into a character part in the play based on your romantic love for that psychoanalyst.
He looks ugly and boring to me.
Oh,that’s just a projection,Annie told her.You are defending yourself against acknowledging how much you long to lie in his arms and let him smother you in kisses.
Well,said Mary,I see you have been reading Freud for beginners again.
Or is it Freud for Dummies?
Mary recalled how nice her dummy used to taste when it was dipped into a jar of malt and codliver oil.Maybe that is the answer,she thought.
I’m going to Mothercare,she called as she ran out of the house in her green trainers and denim trouser suit.See you later.
Annie sat in the kitchen wondering how soon she could see the psychoanalyst again without being accused of sexual harassment.Even old age has not deterred her from seeking a replacement for dear old Stan.A few tears ran down her cheek and Emile jumped out and sat on her knee.