NEARLY

>She’s got this nearly chinless face, which isn’t nearly as bad as it sounds, because she’s European, and her nose bends over in a hawklike way. And she’s small, birdy, gorgeous. She dresses in silk blouses. Colour and consistency of cream. All the time. Pencil skirts that have an actual pencil shape, that sort of horrendously perfect thing.

Whereas me, I lose change down the front of my shirt. Am described as willowy by people who do not know what this word means. Have a constant, quizzical mouth-full-of-toothpaste look which has been present since birth and seems to be here to stay. Red hair, brown, blonde, whatever light it’s in—wavy like a fucking crumpled car door. Awkward, titless, something approaching hopeless.

This is the two of us. Julia and I. Our top halves poking out the top of a makeup counter. Our island in a shopping centre sea. We’re only both here on a Saturday, the other six days we split. I’m Mondays and Tuesdays and Thursdays. I sell nothing, not one thing, in any given week. I give directions people (booth = information, apparently) and spend the rest of the time doodling in my art pad. It’s—as they say—a living.

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