Used Goods

Pearl meets her friend Yvonne every Sunday afternoon at the plaza close to the promenade, for a cupper-tea. It’s quite the occasion for Pearl and she spends all morning putting together the perfect outfit… a knee-high pencil skirt with a tailored black chiffon blouse, which hides a flirtatious negligee and Pearl’s large bosoms. She adorns herself with a diamond ring on each finger and strings of fake pearls dipping into her sun-blushed decolletage… She tries admirably to hide the wicked signs of her waning years with powder, rouge and bright red lipstick.

Yvonne shares Pearl’s enthusiasm in both fashion and expectations. Armoured with a classic black shining leather clutch-bag and matching high heel shoes, she too, parade’s around for hours in front of the mirror before their Sunday meeting. She loves her friend with the loyalty of an old dog and has so much in common with Pearl.

Both have had terribly horrible husbands on more than one occasion and in certain circles they have most certainly passed their sell-by-dates. However, they like to believe that life and its foibles have aged them well, and they won’t commit to thinking anything bad about themselves. For both, meeting for tea on Sundays is a weekly delight they won’t miss for anything in the world. They tittle-tattle about friends, both dead and alive, as well as everyone passing by and laugh about how much money is to be made from divorce…

A waiter, in his penguin outfit, passes the two ladies where they sit at their table pointing at buff young men browning on the beach. They are regular customers and the waiter is familiar with their ritual and fickle fancies. Just before Pearl sips from her cup, dotted with lipstick stains around the brim, he hears her shrill voice saying:

“I don’t mind an old leather handbag at all and if it is well-looked after, I might very well purchase it second-hand, but not if it comes with its previous content.”

Image ‘Coffee & Love’ Acrylic on Paper by FR Lubbe
Text: FR Lubbe, from the unpublished book ‘5’ 


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