Whatever the woman across the room did for a living in her younger years, she now appears to be working as a geriatric call girl.
I nudge Peg in the ribs, lift my chin in the tiny woman’s direction. She grins at me. “What do you think that coat is made of?”
She is tiny: tiny purple Spandex pants, brown suede boots, a large purple fur coat swallowing her tiny torso. You could see that she had been a beautiful woman, and even now, firmly in her 80s, she was quite attractive.
Still. That coat…
We are at the Minneapolis Public Library for a free reading from Calvin Trillin. Early evening, mid-winter, Peg and I are in a literary tizzy. Calvin writes how we both wish we could write, and to see him read, and speak, for free, is more than our little post-work heads can handle.
We are the youngest people in line for the auditorium.
“When’s the last time you were the youngest one in the room, huh?” Peg has a clear voice, Boston-accented. If you were to reach her on the phone you’d be tempted to ask if her mother was home.
“Sophie!” Tiny Purple screeches. A small group of small women burst into a flurry of shouts and tiny, adorable gestures.
“Look at that,” I say.
And there she goes. Tiny Purple has moved well past us and near the head of the line.
Peg shakes her head. “That woman just butted!”
Moments later, four more women join them.
And coats in hand, scarves and hats and gloves stuffed into our sleeves, Peg and I smile at each other.
“Some day we’ll be that old,” Peg says.
I nod. “And I’m goin’ straight to the front of the line.”