everyday, a lower middle class woman by the name of betty proctor wedges herself into a clean well maintained blue ford fiesta and heads over to a big barren carpark overlooking the coast. galvanised by an easy listening radio station, she sobs buckets when songs like ‘feelings’ or ‘i’ve never been to me’ are on the disc jockey’s menu. if she’s lucky, people in other cars cop her crying her tits off, and gently knock on her window to check she’s okay. she loves that.
and she is okay…there’s nothing tragic going on in her life at all. it’s all pure indulgence… when the finely crafted chintzy love songs give rise to betty’s cliched emotions, it makes her feel like a woman of substance…
one other thing that makes her feel like a woman of the world is the manner in which her husband flew the nest… he’s only a few miles down the road living with another man now, but he hasn’t turned homosexual or anything untoward, it’s just he found this one particular bloke to be a great tonic.. a funny entertaining character… sort of like kenneth williams or dick emery… everyone in bournemouth thinks they’re practicing sodomites, but they’re not.. they definitely don’t bugger each other or sleep together or anything.. but betty prefers to feel repulsed and short changed by love, when in fact the poor man simply gravitated to where the laughter was.
oftentimes she treats herself to tea and scones in a little establishment with a good view over the coastline… other widows, spinsters and barren knickered miserabilists are attracted to the clean wee cafe, and betty, in a fake surreptitious way loves taking the tablets her doctor placebo’d in full view of them all… she feels it gives her emotional depth, yet no living specimen was more shallow.
in the cold cafe toilet mirror, betty proctor practices her subtle nuanced stiff upper lip. when reappearing through the restroom door, she channels margaret thatcher leaving 10 downing street for the last time. solitary..brave…..lonely and alone…
at night she eases down on a bed heated by a pifco electric blanket to dream of screaming ambulances racing to her special needs, but she wakes at dawn as fit as a fiddle, and prepares with quiet relish for another session in the barren car park by the seafront.
on a meagre budget..with absolutely zero going on in her life, betty proctor is as happy as a pig in shit… misery can be pure succulence within these safe lower middle class confines.