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To be poor, and young, and a girl

For the ladies I've lived with, and for C who told me about the play and found this wonderful passage.

ANNA:

Queuing all night, the rain, do you remember? my goodness, the Albert Hall, Covent Garden, what did we eat? to look back, half the night, to do things we loved, we were young then of course, but what stamina, and to work in the morning, and to a concert, or the opera, or the ballet, that night, you haven’t forgotten? and then riding on top of the bus down Kensington High Street, and the bus conductors, and then dashing for the matches for the gasfire and then I suppose scrambled eggs, or did we? who cooked? both giggling and chattering, both huddled to the heat, then bed and sleeping, and all the hustle and bustle in the morning rushing for the bus again for work, lunchtimes in Green Park, exchanging all our news, with our very own sandwiches, innocent girls, innocent secretaries, and then the night to come, and goodness knows what excitement in store, I mean the sheer expectation of it all, the looking-forwardness of it all, and so poor, but to be poor and young, and a girl, in London then…and the cafes we found, almost private ones, weren’t they? where artists and writers and sometimes actors collected, and others with dancers, we sat hardly breathing with our coffee, heads bent, so as not to be seen, so as not to disturb, so as not to distract, and listened and listened to all those words, all those cafes and all those people, creative undoubtedly, and does it still exist I wonder? do you know? can you tell me?

From Old Times by Harold Pinter



Photo by Blanc et Demilly found here.

Comments

pea said…
beautiful descriptions. really gives a feel for the fluidness of life, and the experience of one thing bleeding into the next, because sometimes we are too naive or caught up or enthralled to be moved by normal rhythms, even ones that we love or incite. it can seem justified to live from thrill-to-thrill when these pleasures are crosswords, cups of coffee and conversations overheard. and nothing eases expectations like scant funds. :)

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