I see Bertha nearly every day. She is forgettable to most– blending into the swarm of siliconed regulars at my Starbucks.
Bertha is 70 if she is a day.
Her hair is fabulous, unabashedly jet black, ratted high and bubbled round like Ann Miller, flawlessly crafted each and every morning–touched up once a week with Loreal Midnight Black #406.
Bertha is always alone.
She is nearly expressionless, with just a hint of “where the hell has my life gone” visible in her penciled-on eyebrows, and matte foundation a few shades too light. Red lipstick, as tastefully done as a 70-year-old woman with jet black hair can pull off (God bless her).
Her clothes are professionally coordinated pant-suits…
Not quite Nordie’s
Definitely not Chico’s.
Yesterday her jacket had lipstick lips of various sizes–pink, red, white lipstick lips, printed on a black suede cropped business jacket. Two days ago she was wobbling painfully in obscenely high, high heels. Are these subtle ways for Bertha to stay in the game? Does she have a suitor at work she is trying to attract?
And while there are small, entertaining variations in her apparel, I know Bertha gets up every morning and goes through her day in exactly the same way…
She seems to me impenetrable somehow.
As if nothing could get through her agreement with life to be exactly as it is.