I recently went to a shopping mall - I had to, the bra situation wouldn't wait any longer. I went to the M & S lingerie department for a "fitting". A nice woman, softly-spoken with a look in her eyes that suggested she had seen it all before (the state of my underwear, my soul, me) took my measurements and brought me a selection. I tried them on for size, decided they would do and bought the lot because, as I told the nice woman, I didn't want to be coming back for another three years or so. There was a depth of understanding in her nod. You have to be in the right frame of mind for a bra-fitting, she said. Which I never am. Nor in the right frame of body, and I am not talking about the size of my Bristols. If I had spilled the beans right there in the cubicle, about the sheer cliffs of fatigue and how the mere notion of shopping mall finds me perpendicular in Babylon as I remember Zion (may the words of my mouth, O Lord, be acceptable in Thy sight), she would have sat with me and wept. At such times one depends and projects mightily on the kindness of strangers. But anyway, the story does not end there, for when I got home I found that two of the bras did not fit and had nasty hard plastic things that dug into my armpits, so back I go today for refund, for swap. Business concluded I return to the car and find myself trapped on level five for forty five minutes, it is a quarter to five, everyone wants out and there is gridlock. I telephone Mr. Signs who telephones the shopping mall who promise to alert Security. The situation resolves eventually, as things do.
Brighton tomorrow, taking mother shopping the day after, meal out with writerfriends on Thursday, curry night with neighbours on Friday, carol concert Saturday - life really does go on. And my story too, bursting to be written and asking for my undivided attention.