"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Tuesday 11 June 2013

All About Eve

A story I read  at least twenty years ago is much in my mind. The opening paragraph is as clear as the  first time I read it.

A woman is passing from the kitchen with a cup of hot chocolate in  a fine china cup and saucer. She is taking it to her husband who is upstairs,bed-ridden from the pain of arthritis.

As she passes through the hall,  a letter falls through the mail  slot of the front door.

She puts the cup and saucer down on a beautiful expensive  little antique reception table and goes to pick up the letter. It's a  Government of Canada communication and addressed to herself  which in itself  would be odd,if she had not  been expecting it.

She stands in front of the table and opens the envelope . It contains her first pension cheque. She raises er eyes and gazes at herself in the mirror above the table.

She looks at the cheque. Then at the hot chocolate .Some of the  cooling liquid has spilled into the saucer. She hears the querulous voice of her husband berating  her clumsiness .Goes to the hall closet and  retrieves  her coat , hat and  handbag .

Winter is approaching. She dons  the outdoor clothing, slips her feet into fine leather shoes. Puts the cheque in her handbag and leaves  her home in the upscale Montreal suburb forever.

It's not a long story. Nor is it a tale full of excitement and joy. There is true trial and hardship.

But the picture on the  book cover shows the outline of a woman reclining in a  dark basement doorway.feet elevated on a stool clad in front of her ,in worn out running shoes , looking  out into  a blaze of sunshine with one hand leaing down idly scratching the head of a contented feline curled  on the floor beside her.

A Bishop's wife told me about the book.  I told a few others.  On a memorable lunch hour in the cafeteria of the MacDonald Block at Queen's Park, it was good for a vigorous , hilarious conversation among half a dozen fully appreciative women all  of an age but  of vastly different circumstances.

It was a good read.  I recommend it.


Anonymous said...

It is so very sad that receiving a letter addressed to herself would strike her as odd. Such is obliteration.

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

as grumpy the cat wrote, ' I keep hitting the escape button & I'm still here '

Anonymous said...

Loved the book!
Good to know someone else appreciated it, too!