The Big 4-0
(final draft)Look, look at all the balloons bobbing about in the draught fromthe window – not the old fashioned type, these are the silvery,rustling helium ones that stay upright on their own, weightless.Silvery pink, silvery blue, shaped like overstuffed cushions, all with40 on them.
The big 4-0!
Now look around the room. There’s a bit of everything in here, it’sa bedroom, and it’s got a sink and a mirror in it, fair enough, otherbedrooms have those - but do they have microwaves, mini-fridges,tellies, computers? This is not a hotel room, it’s a bedroom in anordinary house, in a boring cul-de-sac in Reading. Gaynor Beech’sbedroom, in her own house, and she never leaves it.Have you noticed the photos on Gaynor’s wall? Surprising that shekeeps them, really. There she is at eight years old, a skinny child in asexless padded coat and unflattering socks that don’t pull up quitehigh enough, dead flat shoes. Pudding basin haircut; Dean calls itthe Joan of Arc photo.
call it the Joan of Arc photo. Then there’sthe picture from that holiday in Clacton the year after, Gaynorgetting ready to catch a ball on the beach, (not that she will, she’sso unco-ordinated there must be a medical name for it.) She gotchanged in Uncle Tony’s car that day and put her swimmingcostume on back to front so it looked like a Victorian strongman’s