Sunday, May 17, 2009

The detail of the sandals

My friend told us all how she had been attacked by this woman in a supermarket car park. Because of the whiplash from the time, less than a fortnight before, when a car had rammed into the back of her – because she still had the whiplash, she said, she’d had to wind down the window of the car she’d borrowed from the garage, leaning out of the unfamiliar car as she backed into the space, and so that was how she heard the slam of the door – a slam so loud in itself that she pulled in her head and wound up the window. It was just as well that she did this, she said, as the woman would have gone for her, hitting her, scratching, but instead had only slapped at the glass, bent the mirrors in, wrenched the wipers back and forth on the windscreen, and all the time this woman had been swearing at her, screaming at her, for taking so long to park – taking your bloody time, you fucking cow. If she’d had a weapon she would have used it, my friend said, she was that much out of control.

When my friend pulled out her phone to call the police the woman had then left in high dudgeon, but my friend had been able to describe the woman to the police. She’d had the rego of the car and could name the make, but to her surprise and satisfaction she’d been better able to describe the woman. She had hated the sight of that woman and had never wanted to remember her, but she knew that she had been dressed in a crushed faded teal linen suit with a grey voile top that might have been a singlet, and that there had been spangles on the straps of her sandals.

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