seasonal sobriety

Freewheeling on lines of distinction, unwelcomed
otherness was the topic the sorority decided on and
proceeded to spread like homemade jam on last week’s
challah bread. Their collective mind published pathways
to resolutions but had delayed solutions that ended in
budget cuts and shortcuts and never amounted to much.

Mina, the leader was idealistic and searched for
commonality. She thought they were all connected, she
thought wrong and expected camaraderie even when they
disagreed. Conjecture on her part, she accepted;
perennially eager and on the lookout for that ever-fixed
mark in a part they all played in the bigger picture.
Tired, she retired, but not without leaving a legacy;
Royal Victoria was booked for a talk on local history, a
coach to Peasmarsh for a demonstration at Jempson’s
bakery, numerous parties and openings of exhibitions at
all the town’s galleries neatly inserted in the group’s
online diary.

Sometimes they used the same language when talking.
When networking, buzzwords flew around the heads of the
few who knew how to work the room. You could say they
were all walking in the same direction but there’s
always one who asks a question, doesn’t wait for an
answer but replies with gunfire aimed at any toes not
firmly behind the line.

“But it wasn’t a race! Who called it a race then ran for
cover to hide her face?” Grace, the oldest one asked
gasping for air and pulling out. “She won’t get my vote.
Clearly you don’t need us old folk.” Nudging her best
friend Zola who choked and awoke, eventually adding
“Don’t let them fool you, there’s no prize. You’ll always
be black in their eyes.” Gaining momentum, she feigned
surprise and mockingly screamed, “Don’t look into the

The constant gardener was a truism Margaret the landscaper
liked to use on female jealousy and other fallacies found in
misogynistic mythology, couch psychology and GP surgeries.
She stood up to explain, “While waiting for smears and scans
we’re smearing ourselves and each other with scandalous
filth excreted from so-called women’s magazines, like 10
ways to judge if your man fancies your best friend and
Never let him mend her car or clear out her garage - Sister,
don’t go there! She satirically pledged to never share useful
information but keep repeating the mantra our combined art
force will never be enough unless used to pull apart and push
apart. Since my divorce, I’ve vowed to never forget I lack
the courage to care so I must project useless fear.” She stared
sardonically momentarily then threw her chair.

Sade, the graphic designer said “ladies, I agree with
Margaret, we have seeds to sow and need space to grow, lest
we forget a room of one’s own to practice intellectually and
spiritually. Our gardens do need tending year-round, so to
speak. Why don’t we throw out the scorebook, graphs and charts,
stop making predictions, outlining pitfalls, and heal this cash
-counting addiction? I’m not saying I want you to want what
I want; I’m saying I want us to each hear what we want. Not
because the getting’s good but because it feeds the greater
good. There’s no need to set things in stone, just set things in
motion out of devotion to ourselves and for our children.”

The women cheered but a new leader commandeered,
appearing out of nowhere appropriating “The same situation
juxtaposed but grounded a little closer to home; no offence,
Sade. We’re trending now so let others follow but follow in
return and let reciprocity burn the books of elitism, hedonism
and chauvinism in all its forms.” A hairpin fell out of Zola’s
hair. “Grace and Zola, are you still here? Don’t get me wrong
…” the self-appointed leader continued, “… Sade’s song is in
key just off point as Hastings is no longer stained with urban
decay. The blight’s an opportunity for us now to be anything
we want to be. She laughed uncontrollably then went in for
the kill. “We’ll boycott the coffee shops with seats for
customers only. We’ll show them, they’ll see. We’ll ask the
council where all the public benches have gone. We’ll make
a video about their role in this town. I’ll write the script
and call it ‘The Death of the Arcades will be the Death of Me.’

A little-known fact; I lived here as a child and got picked
on for being fat. On the beach, they’d call me darky even
though I’ve got no African in me. Thank God, I don’t shop at
the supermarket and instead opt to grow things in my garden,
which by the way you can steal at a bargain at tomorrow’s
market. I’m a trooper, not an enterpriser, a true artist and I’m
surprised some don’t see this, but I expect it’s cultural bias.

Now lastly and very quickly; Sade, are you having trouble
sleeping of late? The poor girl in the chemist shouldn’t have
said. She also mentioned vacating her home; evicted and
relocated by that gay housing officer you’re dating. I only
bring it up because it left a good family homeless and what
with no money, it got pretty ugly as I’m sure you’ll agree.
Thank God, I do loans at Barclays; ever the shepherd I let the
burden fall on me. Now, regarding our logo, sorry Sade, it’s a
no-go. My husband’s firm will do it for cheap.

Meeting adjourned.