There’s a woman

There’s a woman who arranges her books based on colour. She had to buy more blue to create the perfect ombre. The violet of du Maurier’s ‘Rebecca’ makes her heart sing.

She wears red lipstick but doesn’t reapply it. By lunchtime a red outline remains while the colour wears off the best flesh. She looks like one of the dead women on TV. The women that are murdered by men hiding under beds, men secreted away in cars in underground garages, men who clench their fists while sleeping.

She reads the blogs of women who make austere jewellery with woven thread that wraps around a life to be captured, eaten up, PayPal-ed and now there’s a customs charge. Women who curate their lives. Women who take selfies with a bright flash that softens their face, that rubs away the lines that life has left.

She started making dresses but they were thin and hung from her bones like a sack. The sewing machine has pride of place in the study that’s full of books she’ll never read.

She rides a bicycle a man helped her pick and now he acts like she owes him. At the pub he breathes Scampi Fries onto her neck as he rattles in her ear about chainrings.

She buys mid-century modern furniture and talks about going on protests but never does and instead scours the internet for cats to adopt.

She wears white tights and picks off green nail polish that nestles between the ribs of the itchy wool. She wishes she had worn jeans but Instagrams the tights and the brown brogues.

Later she buys more brogues, these ones are red. She clicks ‘Next Day Delivery’ on the MacBook Pro she stole from the boyfriend who wanted to be a character in a book but the pages never turned.

She makes gnocchi and cold brews her own coffee.

She trawls eBay trying to find the right faux fur coat but the sleeves are all wrong so instead she buys some more shoes. She imagines wearing them on a dinner date with a fantastically entertaining man who will later pull her dress up.

Daddy stopped paying the mortgage so she cancels all her magazine subscriptions except the one with the cats in Japan, that’ll be a collector’s item someday.

She puts a record on and tries to remember why she bought it.