Two hours ago in Glenhuntly Road

“Fucking women!”
I walk along the footpath and I hear the words.
The man who speaks the words is tall, well made. He walks alone, with
easy vigour. He might be forty, perhaps fifty years old. He speaks the
words distinctly. He does not raise his voice, but I hear the words as
if he shouted them. They crash my ears as if I were not losing my
hearing, as if I were walking alongside him, facing him, instead of
two paces behind him.

“Fucking women. Walk right into your face, walk right through you. You
give way or they go through you.”

I am alongside now, walking stride for stride. I look straight ahead.
We two are alone in our stretch of pavement. I am the only person
within earshot.

The tall man has not finished shooting: “Fucking bitches!”
He gives the words a cadence – fuc-king bit-ches – as he spits them
out. The man has found his groove and he stays in it, hissing his
words again, again.

I am running late for “Hitler’s Children’, the movie where my
womenfolk await my arrival. I am glad to find that in my haste I
outpace him. His anger, his intensity, his perseveration unnerve me.

I am glad there are no women in sight. I am glad he carries no weapon,
glad for the bright daylight.

As I hurry to my movie I think of Jill Meagher and Sarah Cafferkey,
still in their graves.

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