She was invisible to all but me. I knew her, you see. I could tell you all about her if I wanted to, but I’m only going to tell you about this one day. The day the police got her and dragged her off to jail.
It was sunny in Leicester Square. There was the usual smog sitting on the river, but in the square, a breeze had sprung up and it had swept aside the smog like a curtain. A perfect day for a performance.
She approached from the north-east corner. Slowly stalking the muse. Hair like corn and eyes the colour of well cooked beefsteak – she was the perfect meal for the men who were idly watching from the shadows. I remember that one or two of them even cat-called her. But she was no-one’s pet.
As she reached the statue, she raised her arms – as if she were drawing a vase in the air. At the same time, she released an ululating call to those who had ears. Passers-by and idlers alike turned their faces towards her. When her hands reached their highest point and she saw that she was being observed – that’s when she vanished.
I was expecting it and so I guess that I was the only one who didn’t cry out. My voice was not added to the murmurs that filled the square, bouncing off of the buildings surrounding this stage. But I did do something that none of the others thought to do. I called for the police.
Yes, I was the one who wanted her to be locked away. You might think it cruel of me to …
Hold on a sec, I need to pee.
lock step computer find feet turn dandy straighten jumper pride strut office eyes door faces smiles open step aside smiles fade toilet door handle germs lock flip out straighten skin pee flush wash dry wet floor pee grab tissues wipe wash hands again waste pride paper on handle germs avoided quick step side kick door shut empty corridor safe door handle little fingers germs rub hands warmer office computer on words appear fingertips
… get the poor girl arrested but it needed to happen. Without it, I would not have been able to read the report on the British Library Newspapers website*. Without the article I would just be sat here, looking at a blank screen with nothing to say to you. No way to capture your attention.
I am the same John Smith named as bringing the court action against the Invisible Girl. That’s not my real name, of course. But still, I have a message for you.
We are but mere grains of sand scattered across this stage. This is the play of this world. Even as you get crunched under the feet of the mighty players, you still have a chance.
But these are just metaphors. Not wanting to insult your fine intellect, but you don’t fully understand where you are. Don’t worry – I’m going to explain. Sit back, make yourself comfortable, open your mind and read my words …
Right that’s it – switch off that infernal device – I’ll finish it later. And for Frantre’s sake sweep the floor – it’s covered with sand!
(*Source: The Morning Post (London, England), Saturday, February 12, 1803; Issue 10721.)