Short Story: Midday in the Bourke Street Mall

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She has such a strong sense of this moment but almost no sense of herself in it, except as an observer. Maybe because she doesn’t come to the city much anymore. She isn’t a part of it. She used to work in the city years ago but not since then. But this is where the recruiters are. This is where the jobs are now.

She has already met with one recruiter. She mistook his polite enquiry about what she was doing for lunch as a come on. Or maybe she didn’t mistake it at all. She will meet with another recruiter this afternoon and will listen for over an hour while he outlines everything that is wrong with her. She will sit there and take it.

But for now she sits at midday in the Bourke Street mall. There’s a book in her bag but so much is going on around her that she has no interest in getting it out. The bench below her is hard and cold, metallic beneath the back of her thighs, even through the material of her skirt. Continue reading

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Short Story: The Ballet

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I look good. I like to make an effort when I go to the ballet. Some people turn up in jeans, track suits, even school uniforms. I always wear a dress. At the moment, it’s concealed underneath a knee-length black overcoat. I’m also wearing knee-high black boots in deference to the cold. It’s a nightmare driving to and parking in the city so I usually take the train but it’s winter and the platform is chilly.

I duck into the partially enclosed seating area but it isn’t any warmer. The breeze whistles through unintentionally but perfectly created wind tunnels and ruffles my hair. I hate the wind more than any other kind of weather. For rain, I have an umbrella. For sun, I have hats. For heat, I have loose, barely-there clothing. For cold, I have jackets – like the one I have on now – and scarves and gloves. There is nothing for the wind but staying inside. But I have to go out to get to the ballet. So instead I have a hairbrush in my bag to repair later the damage it is doing now.

He sits down next to me before I even realise he is there. “Hello.” Continue reading