by - February 16, 2010

Of course that’s not her real name. I don’t know it. I don’t even know where she lives, just that she passes my house every day around 2 pm in her pink trench coat. Betty Rizzo: leader of The Pink Ladies. Sassy. Confident. Slightly mysterious. Sarcastic and crass. She must be nearing 70 but her body is lean and her gait is assertive. Poised. She attacks the sidewalk with grace and purpose. She doesn’t seem to see anything around her, intent solely on her daily journey. I imagine she’s widowed - laid her childhood sweetheart to rest in our little cemetery beside the mayors office - but the pink coat scatters any aura of sadness. It’s hard to imagine a person steeped in misery when they wrap themselves in a colour synonymous with happiness. Twelve minutes later she’ll return, the same poise and confidence, the small paper sack sticking out of the top of her handbag telling of her journey down the gilded aisles of the main street liquor store. She is gung-ho for home, surely to reach it in time to apply fresh lipstick and pour the drinks into two perfect crystal glasses before her secret Kenickie arrives - obviously a dignified, silver fox who ravishes her with stories of the war and loves her slowly to save his heart. Part of me hopes for what I’ve created her to be - to swathe myself in the colour of a teenagers blush, to lose myself in a torrid affair, to be glamourous in my golden-girl years. We’ll see. I may never know her name but I count on her everyday wondering if I’ll ever spot that elusive “hickie from Kenickie.”

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