We were talking about The Handmaid’s Tale. The book not the TV series. I gave my opinion on the failings of the series — how it gave too much away immediately, and it should have avoided the use of narration. I was trying to seem clever. I don’t know if she was impressed…

We were in her car — a small hatchback of some kind. She was driving down the quays. She had a big book of luminous painting. It was by someone whose name looked like mine, but was not. She said it contained “So much beauty…” She wouldn’t talk. I was frustrated. I asked to be dropped off, not really wanting her to do so, but hoping that she would chose to talk instead, but she pulled in to the kerb. I felt sad and angry. Shut out.


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