There’s a writer whose work I rate, the scriptwriter and blogger Ken Armstrong. I want to say that from time to time he has begun a blog admitting that he doesn’t know where it’s going to go and then just sees where it leads. I want to say that because I think that’s what I want to do today.
I could check, I could read through his blog again, but that could lead to some problems. For one thing, I may have completely misremembered this and what he actually said some time was that he loathes when people start off a blog post not knowing where it’s going.
Or then of course if I am right and I do read one and it is very good, I’ll stumble.
Some things are on my mind. Some things are on your mind, and it’s possible that they’re the same. Such as the common cold, the odd upset stomach or an itch. These are all things that the entire world should be given a pass on for the moment.
Victoria Derbyshire presenting BBC News while she’s got a domestic abuse helpline number written on her hand. Fantastic.
I saw a jet plane in the sky yesterday and it felt impossible. Reminded me of the months after 9/11 when seeing any aircraft near any buildings was a jolt.
There was a woman behind me as I went for a walk yesterday. Fifties, I think, and with the most pronounced difficulty in walking. She walked like Bambi on ice, and yet she was still so fast that I had to cross the road before she caught up with me.
Then there was a fella coming the other way and I had to cross back. Then Bambi paused to examine a van – if I were writing a story this would make sense but it’s real life – so I crossed once more.
And then as she walked on, this woman collapsed in the road. I started running toward her, but she was back up on her feet like she was in a baby bouncer. (I just checked Amazon to see if there were such a thing as a baby bouncer. This is going to get me some strange recommendations.)
Another woman, closer to Bambi than I was, appeared from nowhere and if I couldn’t hear the exchange, I could see the body language both sides and this other woman went back to nowhere.
I am thinking about my instant running toward her. I’m also thinking about my nearly instant stopping.
But what’s been keeping this in my head for a day now is what happened next. Bambi carried on walking and now a car came around a corner, slammed to a halt, and two people got out. A woman in her thirties, wearing some kind of faded black dress, and a man in his forties, wearing very little. Shorts and shoes. Big man, tanned, and now acting like a hostage negotiator.
He stood in front of Bambi with his hands out in a look-no-weapons kind of way. And the three of them got into a standoff.
They didn’t look like family, and yet they did look like they knew each other. The two in the car cannot have seen Bambi fall, so it wasn’t that they were more responsible and caring than I was. They looked like they had been searching for her.
And I don’t know what happened next. I couldn’t stare, couldn’t stay. But there is something in how Bambi was dressed, how the three of them were. The shorts man had been in a garden, no question. The black dress woman had thrown that on because she knew she wasn’t going out anywhere. And here they were, out. Bambi could conceivably have been at church, there was something about her clothes that said a little formal, but not evening wear. A little neat, but not expensive.
I’m trying to find a situation where they were together and then this happened. I’m certain of the search, there was an urgency to Shorts’ driving and the nobody-will-see black dress. You’re imagining they had a row, and I think you’re right.
You’re also imagining family tensions and that’s something else we should all have a pass on.