I stand on the end platform of the tram and am completely unsure of my footing in this world, in this town, in my family. Not even casually could I indicate any claims that I might rightly advance in any direction. I have not even any defence to offer for standing on this platform, holding on to this strap, letting myself be carried along by this tram, nor for the people who give way to the tram or walk quietly along or stand gazing at shop windows. Nobody asks me to put up a defence, indeed, but that is irrelevant.
The tram approaches a stopping place and a girl takes up her position near the step, ready to alight. She is distinct to me as if I had run my hands over her. She is dressed in black, the pleats of her skirt hang almost still, her blouse is tight and has a collar of white fine-meshed lace, her left hand is braced flat against the side of the tram, the umbrella in her right hand rests on the top step. Her face is brown, her nose, slightly pinched at the sides, has a broad round tip. She has a lot of brown hair and stray tendrils on the right temple. Her small ear is close set, but since I am near her I can see the whole ridge of the whorl of her right ear and the shadow at the root of it.
At that point I ask myself: How is it that she is not amazed at herself, that she keeps her lips closed and makes no such remark?
I am the existentially confused commuter, atomised and strangely not alone in the luminal space of public transportation.
I want to be the woman prepared to alight before the tram driver slams the brakes, composed and discriminate in my display of self in public.
And I dearly want to get back to blogging.