Lock the doors, close the curtains. Check that next door is at work. Nip upstairs and get ready. Make-up, hair and clothes. Apply a little tangerine lipstick, mascara from the spiral brush, backcomb the top, spray the lacquer from the thick plastic bottle, poke with the tail of the steel comb. Open the walnut wardrobe, flick through the hangers, take out the orange and pink print dress with three layers of frills, find the tights and the white smoked shoes. Get dressed. Look in the mirror. Yea. Downstairs to the kitchen, grab a finger roll, pick out a hotdog from the saucepan, a swirl of mustard, a curl of onion, a bottle of Coke from the fridge, with a straw. Into the lounge, heels clacking on the bare floor, open the radiogram, find the six 45s, fix them on the changer, lean towards the Play lever. The letter-box slaps. Expecting something important, pick up the brown envelope, run a thumb along the flap, take out the stiff white paper, read it. Good. Back to the lounge, push the Play lever, listen for the crackle until the needle finds the groove. With the drum intro, start moving. When Chubby starts singing already halfway to the floor, arms in opposition. ‘Come on, Baby, let’s do The Twist’.
Good that the pension’s going up even by so little. The price of mascara these days you need every penny you can get.