Sharing space

Yesterday I was chatting to a middle-aged woman in the bank for a bit.  I’d gone in there to drop off a direct debit form.  This was the second time I’d been there this week because the first time I got there at a quarter past four and, let’s be honest, the bank has far too much money to bother staying open past 4pm.

Anyway I was talking to this woman.  She was wearing a uniform and had a good figure.  Dark hair and a pleasant face.  She was possessed of a sincerely amicable disposition, which was probably why she was a meeter-and-greeter at small suburban bank.  Only a bank could afford a middle-aged, nicely mannered, friendly meeter-and-greeter.  Her breath was a little on the off side.  Not too much, just enough to notice it and realise that I was talking to another human being with feelings and history.  It was nice.

It was hard to get on the same page, though, as I was dressed like a bum in a good suburb and she was dressed beautifully in her bank uniform.  But we both knew that the uniform wasn’t really hers so there was some common ground for us.  She felt like a fraud in her uniform in her bank, I felt like a hermit in my bum’s outfit, clutching the form which would change the way I make repayments on my investment property.  Me unshaven and well-spoken.  Her all dolled up and starting to rot inside.  Both of us scrabbling desperately under the gross believability our respective facades to find a scrap of shared space in which we can come up for air and stave off the obliteration of apartness for a moment before we sink back below the waves.