Tuesday, 13 May 2014

One Or Six - What's The Diff?

A worry shared is a worry halved; this belief is half-felt in the heart of many of Govan's ladies, but very often not practised. Without sharing, a worry ferments and multiplies. It sits heavily in the pit of your stomach. You try to keep it out of your thoughts, but when someone tells you good news or something funny, you can't be fully happy or laugh wholeheartedly. For a moment, you vaguely wonder why not. Then the worry hits you, swirls round your head and sticks in your throat and a feeling of nausea sweeps over you.
It can be about a man, a child, an illness, money. Unfortunately, it's your own burden to bear.

Moyra's leaning over the railings, drawing on a cigarette, listening and not listening to the laughter and chat going on around her. It's mid-afternoon, that quiet hour before the bell rings and mayhem starts up again. It's warm, sunny, relaxed. Theresa's telling a story that ends with, "An they says Ah owe a thousand quid. As if. A thou-sand!"
Moyra remains leaning over, her head is bent and she shakes it from side to side. Her yellow hair is pulled back into a ponytail, tied with a green band that accidentally matches her tracksuit top and the stripe down her joggies.
"Ye've nae idea," she whispers. "nae idea. Six thousand Ah owe them," and here she lifts her eyes and raises her voice. "N see if they were tae come t ma hoose n take everythin', they widnae get wan, never mind six."

1 comment:

Sandra PA said...

This post reminded me of a Govan moneylender who would take women's family allowance books as collateral. He could be seen outside the post office in Pearce Street handing the books back to the women so they could go and cash the allowance and hand it to him when they came out. Desperate women then and now....