Standing on the Corner



Many days find me doing a pathetic round of exercises in the park overlooking the river at the end of our road. Its before eight and  there is usually  the odd dog walker, a yummy mummy with her trainer, the occasional jogger  and the odd commuter for company. The other day was different. On the bench where I start my  physical perks sat a smart lady. Dressed as she was  for work. She sat motionless.

She was middle aged, dark haired and smart in a Marks and Spencer rather than glamorous  kind of way. So why was she sitting on  park bench at 7.45 on a Monday morning?

Had it been one of those Stalingrad weekends where every emotional inch of the marriage had been fought and worried over. Had she had an argument with her husband and decided that she needed time to think about her  life, their life together. Was it about his  or her lover, was it about his or her work, was it about the children  and the  direction they were taking. Was about the  boredom which besieges many marriages. Had she ever been happy?

The  minutes she was spending on that bench overlooking  the river were to decide her life. Would she leave or would she stay. Would she leave the job she hated and go back to trying to make a living as an artist. Would she  give an ultimatum to her son about getting a job and paying his way?

Maybe I see too many films and read too many books and all she wanted was a bit of air.  Although there was rain in the air it was a fine morning and there are few fairer suburban sights than the sun on the Thames. Maybe she was staying with a friend and just wanted to get out of their way. Maybe the alarm had gone off too early and her day  had started prematurely and she had time to kill.

She could of course had  got some depressing news from her doctor and she needed  time on her own to think it through, prepare herself for more tests, a possible operation or worse.

Any way she got up to go, just then an old friend  jogged past and shouted. I waved back. Looked around and the lady in the Marks and Spencer Mack had gone. I finished my exercises, went home and kissed Vivien. She looked a bit shocked.

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