A view from upstairs (on the bus)

[Hello dad. This one is for you.]

When she was born, Harriet Bardot was blonde and long-limbed. She had a Bridget Bardot pout, and eyelashes that were like sparkles of black. She was a busy child, rushing from under the kitchen table to behind the sofa. A hurrying, harrying, child.

Aged 41, she was stout with eyes like chipped pavements. 

To the ambulance man, she said she was fine. The ambulance man said she should get to hospital. Harriet said she would, but refused the ride. 

On the top of the bus, she thought about how similar people are, essentially. She may have a bloody nose, a coffee mouth and an air of aggression about her. But essentially she was cut from the same mould as everyone else. Those people in a group, barking to each other and laughing at a small YouTube film playing on someone's phone. They're the same as the child weeping silently on her mother's lap. And those teenagers saying who they like and who they don't like. There was a man who. There was a wife who. There was a family that had to. There was a person that. All the same.

From the bus window, she saw a man trip and the potatoes he was holding in his sack roll into the road.

She settled into her seat and switched off her mind.