I wait in the queue, for the loo at Waverley train station. Glancing to my left I see a woman of middle age dressed in a black, belted, wartime overcoat and the blackest, shiniest polished brogues. Her hair is dark and worn in a bob, the fringe resting on her eyebrows. She stands in front of a mirror, arms at her side, motionless and stares at herself. She watches her features intently and quietly, with no sign that the image is one she might recognise. She is still and upright and concentrated for a a full two minutes and then suddenly she tilts her chin upward, revealing her pink, fleshy neck and, with her left hand slowly strokes the skin in a downward manner along her trachea. This, she repeats a dozen times or more. Lowering her head she returns to her original position. Below, her polished shoes twitch, causing them to sparkle under the ceiling lights. Another sharp movement brings her right forefinger up to her forehead . She rubs, again and again with effort, her face passive. She drops her hand and looks. And looks. Stepping back, her eyes take in her body and she turns, her shoes twinkling as she exits. I inch further forward in the queue.

2 Replies to “Observation.”

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