Aside of the occasional foray into the main street to either shop, use the ATM, go to church, get to the Library or some other mundane task, I have spent the last few months indoors. Today I went out to the ATM. Normally there should not have been a queue but today my eyes were assailed by a queue, stretching into the distance. There must have been at least twenty people on the queue occasioned by the demise of one of the two machines. These are the only two machines in walking distance of my house, which is shocking considering we are just off the city centre.
I joined the end of the queue, arms folded around myself, even though I was clad in quite a heavy coat to deflate the force of the icy wind. Around me, everyone was heavily clad, quite a few were swaying, maybe trying to generate some heat from the muscular motion. One or two youngish looking chaps had cigarettes which they were puffing on, exhaling with careless abandon in our general direction. The woman in front of me seemed especially cold. She had only a flimsy looking wind breaker on for protection and I could almost swear I heard her bones rattling as she shivered. The person behind me seemed to take pity on her, and handed her his coat, which she seemed to appreciate.
I felt a twinge of guilt for not offering her my jacket. I rationalized it away by telling myself that I needed it as much as she did, and that I’d have had to get it back when I left the queue. As I left, money in my wallet, I headed straight to the nearest KFC. This called for something warm ASAP.