When I people watch, I’m usually trying to decide if people are happy. No making up elaborate stories about their inheritances or sex lives, unless they have a super obvious pointer to either, but whether they have contentment. Whether the chubby mother running after her chubby baby really wanted said baby, or if in the still of the night, sometimes, quietly, in words she never speaks and thoughts she never finishes – whether she wishes she could let him run out into the street and be a coroner’s problem. But only because she’s so.



It wouldn’t even be her f- but she won’t complete that sentence to the ending of the story in her mind. Because she loves her child. Of course. All mothers do. Her mother told her, not showed her, but what her mother SAYS must be true.

My mother told me otherwise.

Now I’m watching the girl in braids with a shifty look who looks like she’s trying to look excited about being at Junction with her prettier friend. Where are they going? To watch a movie with boys from school who tried to touch them last week. Tell the teacher for what? So that he tries to too? Not that it mattered. Because they don’t try to touch her nearly as much as they try with CC. CC is popular and pretty. Pretty means has boobs and will let the guys do stuff. At the movies, they’re going to do stuff. She’s going to sit – uncomfortable. Waiting for the inevitable inching of his hand to her arse. She’ll pretend to like it. She won’t.

She’s not happy either.

The smell of his Fanta Passion is making me slightly nauseous and nostalgic at the same time. Remember Fanta Pineapple? I used to love that soda. It was too sweet and too tangy. It used to cut my tongue and I would willingly let it. The sugar would seep into summer days and colour them with what I think now is perfection. Perfection and simplicity. Not like now. Though I guess the past is like Fanta Passion. It makes you want to gag and wish you were there at the same time.

If I were there, I wouldn’t be…here. Where I am now. Watching other people’s faces to try and understand my own…to try and understand whether I’m the post-partum partially depressed mom or the desperately unhappy teenager craving real affection – trying to see what we have in common other than our sadnesses and the children growing within us who we don’t want – which is what we were, when sugar seeped into our summer days and then turned into the dry dust of the lonely summer nights.


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