Cafe

‘Leah was in the cafe.’

Janice is at the gate.  She is talking to my Mum.

“Well, she would be.  She goes in there all the time.”

§

Yes, I was, and so was Janice, with her friends.

Every time I enter the cafe, Janice goes quiet, looks at me.

§

That day, I was wearing my coat with the embroidery.

I had a long, black skirt  with laced-up boots.

I thought it all went together, and in a way it did.

§

cup

Janice spent her twenties doing all the things that I wanted to do.

When she goes to the cafe, it seems to me that all her friends have bought a new outfit for the occasion.

They all get their hair done professionally, and go to nail bars.

§

‘I want to be like Janice’, I tell my Mum.

“Well, you are never going to be like Janice.

Janice bounces through life, hasn’t a care in the World.”

§

She will call in for tea, and gossip with my Mum, now that she is married with a baby.

One day, she came into the kitchen, and paused.

I can’t remember what I was wearing, but it was bright.  I wear gypsy clothes at home, all different colours.

§

Janice is funky.

“Sporty”, says my mum.  “She wears all that sports stuff.”

§

‘She doesn’t like my clothes.’

“Well she wouldn’t.  She would think that ensemble very odd.”

§

‘I wore the laced-up boots.’

“Did you wear that long, black thing like you are going to a funeral?”

‘Yes, with my embroidered coat.’

§

I imagine what it must be like to meet me, if you are Janice.

Quite the experience, I think.

Especially, if I spend the next hour buried in a book.

A pot of tea and Frances Hodgson Burnett, and I think it is  a good afternoon.

§

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