A New Character

Just as if in a metaphor for her life, the day started out being sunny then became overcast, pending the quickly approaching cold front. The wind changed direction, temperature decreased, pressure increased and there was a high possibility of showers.

The previous twenty-four hours had been another day of confusion, indecision, inconsistencies and eccentricities. It began with the morning selection of clothes to wear, had extended into the choice of breakfast, then developed from there.

She thought to herself, when? She seriously tried to identify the instant, or at least the approximate period of her life, that she started being eccentric; or rather, when did people start identifying her as eccentric. Of course, the existentialist in her would say, same thing. The realist in her would say, bullshit. She could never quite decide between the two.

She used to be cute. They thought she was funny. And not in a bad way. She was considered to have joie de vivre. Friends would laugh when she went “left field”, when she said something unpredictable and/or incongruous. Then she became…strange. At least, in the eyes of others she did. Her friends said that she thought too much, analyzed things in too much detail and saw too many alternatives, too many different interpretations. She was even accused of being too intelligent. She became unsure, indecisive… vague. Weird. People stopped asking her how she was when they met. They avoided asking her any question. People at work started rolling their eyes when she walked into a room. They exchanged furtive glances as she agonised aloud over whether she felt like tea or coffee- for five minutes. It became almost impossible for her to decide to want anything.

People thought it odd that she always seemed to be alone. She was considered reasonably attractive to men, but never seemed to have a boyfriend. She was strange. She knew it.

Carol Azzapardi was 34 years old. She was not pretty but not unattractive either. She had a round face, accented further by short cropped, Audrey Hepburn type hair that always seemed a little messy. She was slightly above average height and slim. Her physical assets were obvious- rather large, round breasts.  She understood that she was physically attractive to men…or was that just her breasts?  She regularly disguised their size in loose fitting clothing.  But men still discovered them, somehow. Men were tenacious when it came to breasts. She theorised that it must have something to do with infant imprinting of boys who were breastfed. Or perhaps it was the ones who weren’t breastfed that were so obsessed? No, she concluded that they were all obsessed.

She described herself as moderately attractive, but not very.

Eyes: sort of brown, or hazel, depending on the prevailing light.

Figure: slim, to most people, but not to really slim people.

She didn’t know if she wanted children.

No particularly strong interests or hobbies.

Not really an outdoor type. Nor indoor.

Her online dating profile didn’t attract much interest. Except for a few men who asked questions like was she openminded, did she like sex and what was her bra size.

Today was going to be a big day for Carol Azzapardi. She was going into town, shopping. She would have a Feastburger for lunch …or perhaps something else. She had worked out how to avoid her problem with indecision. The staff at her local fast-food outlet were used to her. She would simply ask the crew member to choose something for her and eat whatever they chose. It saved time and angst. This worked on most visits, unless a new crew member offered her a choice between two or more meal deals. Last week she had a Feastburger, fries with that and a small thick shake, any flavour. Easy. Such a relief.

The shopping would be more difficult. She needed to buy a new washing machine as the old one had died. Would she be able to decide on anything? Carol was dreading the mental anguish to come.

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