Friday, 22 February 2013

Street Talk: Peg The Lady.

I had a dream about my grandmother this week. She was sitting on a couch and had kept ageing, in the afterlife. When she saw me her eyes lit up like they always did and she stood up to hug me. A really real, proper hug. One between two people who love each other so much that there is no waiting to see who will pull away first after an acceptable amount of hug time. Just hugging in the hug, for hugs sake.

I woke up and my pillow was wet.

Today I just wanted to talk to an old person. I love old people. They're comforting, and have so much to share. Dave received a thank-you card in the mail this week from a client, and as I read the sloping cursive over his shoulder I could tell it was from an old person.

In blogging we often hear from the people who can afford a computer and who have the time to write. Not a nurse who is a single mother of small children and works full-time. Or a street kid. Or people in their nineties.

I walked up the street and looked for old people. Where would they be? The post office.

I sat waiting outside the post office for a while, with the yellow autumn leaves. Looking for the right old person - the greyer the better. I hoped my fresh loaf of Hominy sourdough made me look friendly.

Finally I saw her, coming up over the bend. Her name is Peg, she's eighty-four, and could spare only a few minutes because she was on her way to catch a bus back home.

Peg didn't want me to take her photo which was a shame because she is so beautiful. A light pink scarf holding her silver hair, beautiful emerald earrings, sparkling eyes. Worn face. She leant against her green shopping trolley and told me that she'd been living in the Blue Mountains her entire life.

"I was married up here. We didn't have a honeymoon because we couldn't afford one. My husband was a music teacher. He's dead now. All of my brothers are, too. I'm the last one."

Peg hates being called Peggy. In her green trolley were all the ingredients for a roast chicken dinner. She has two sons and one daughter, tells me very matter-of-factly that one son died in an accident when he was nineteen and it took her decades to get over it.

"I've been overseas once. A long time ago now. My husband surprised me with a trip to Europe in the 1970's. I have seen the Eiffel Tower, have you? We always said we'd go back."

She wheeled her trolley away. She loved talking about herself, with the most gorgeous, ladylike voice.

I went to give her my card with this blog's details on it and she waved it away, laughing. She doesn't go online.

There are people in the world who will never have an email address.


Street Talk is an unfolding art project. I am so grateful and blown away that people say yes to talking with me, trusting me with some snippets of who they are.

Previous Street talks:

1. Noelene the Young
2. Megan the Mouse
3. Harpal the Australian
4. Darren the Artist
5. Jo the Interesting
6. John the Telstra Guy
7. Michael the Photographer

PS I have a new blog header! Her name is Failed Derby Girl. 

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Write to be understood, speak to be heard. - Lawrence Powell

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