the Italian widow & the grieving librarian


Katy (20) is beautiful. and i’m not just saying this because she is family. she truly is a pretty girl. being a photographer, i am always looking at the world through a lens so to speak. she always attracts attention, often unwanted and unwarranted in her naivety.

she and i boarded the #x37 at 18:40hrs. a short bus ride to work. she and i dressed in black: Katy, like an Italian widow, her lipstick perfect; me, bespectacled, more like a grieving librarian.

we sit in the middle of the bus, she by the window, with her handbag on her lap, and me at the aisle. hey, even her bag looks glamorous.

down at the front of the bus is a mother and child. the child, a boy of 5 or 6, is fidgeting in his seat and talking incessantly to his mother. he is cute as a button. he observes the world around him and tells it like it is. he is funny. Katy and i, and the other non-headphone wearing passengers, cannot help but giggle aloud at his innocent and amusing comments. wisdom from the mouths of babes.

people alight at various stops along the way: returning home. and here we are, Katy and i, just about to begin our shift.

across the aisle from me is a man, in his early twenties, wearing headphones and sporting a straggly, thin ponytail that i feel compelled to cut off. we watch, quietly amused, as he fingers his lap- as though playing piano, watching Katy as he ‘plays’. Katy looks at him then looks at me with a raised, yet perfectly penciled brow, and giggles to herself.

we get up to alight at our stop. i notice as we teeter down the aisle, the bus taking a sweeping bend at pace, the remaining men on-board’s lecherous gazes at Katy’s legs. being the impossibly over-protective aunt, i throw them a silencing glower.

we alight the bus and cross the road into the evening sun. judging by the amount of cars in the car park, tonight is going to be a crazy one.

(c) Kat McDonald 2014

image source unknown – commonly found in Instagram

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