I come into the room just as she rises up from an awkward position of bending down between her legs. She is puffing and blows a stray strand of hair from her face. Her glasses are fogged up from the apparent effort that she just put into whatever she was busy doing.
“Dare I ask?” I quiz her.
“Who on earth thought it was a good idea to make bodysuits for women?” She counters my question, nursing a sore shoulder. But, she continues, “It is nothing else than an oversized babygrow! And let me tell you, at almost fifty, no woman should have to go through the effort of putting one on.
“First, it goes over your head. Then you have to bend over to try and get the back bit to pull it to the front. However, because of your big bum, it has travelled towards your coccyx, so you lift one leg to see if you can reach far enough, but alas, you can’t. Then you lift the other, with the same results. As a last resort, you stand on your tippy-toes and try and look through your legs, but your tummy and your boobs are in the way, and you cannot for the life of you bend over far enough. If by some luck of the gods you grab hold of the offending piece of fabric, you are sure that you have ripped your peck muscle in half. Now comes the real challenge, lining up the studs to fasten it, but once again, your stomach stops you from looking at what you are doing, and you have to trust that whatever you are feeling down there is what you are supposed to be feeling!
“You cannot take in any liquid for the rest of the day because to repeat this process will land you up in hospital. And what do you tell the attending paramedics? I struggled to get dressed?”
My friend is getting more and more agitated by the moment. Finally, she rolls her eyes and theatrically throws her hands in the air, “Memo to clothing designers out there, please make the back bit of a bodysuit longer so that it hangs between my knees and I can grab it and fasten it where my belly button begins!” She giggles, “Oh, that first part sounded a bit suspicious, didn’t it?”
She starts towards her kitchen and switches on her kettle for tea. I am still wiping the laughter tears away as I sit on a high chair at the kitchen bench. She holds up two boxes of tea for me to choose from. She decides on chamomile for herself and whispers something about needing it to calm herself.
She stands opposite me with her hands firmly planted about shoulder-width apart on the bench.
“Perspective is a strange thing, isn’t it? Here I am, a middle-aged, full figure woman lamenting that I cannot get a bodysuit on, whilst I had no problems with it in my supple younger days, and I would have rolled my eyes at any other woman who complained, as I did earlier. It was my way or the highway. Were you also like that?” Her eyebrows punctuate the question. I can only nod. My poor mother was often at the receiving end of my ideas and my unwillingness to see other views as equally important. I can remember the hurt in her eyes so clearly, and I wish I could apologise once more for the mistakes I made in my youth.
She takes out a little white milk jug that she fills with full cream milk for me, and she scoops a few teaspoons of coconut sugar into the tiniest of sugar bowls. She pours the water into the cups, and we move towards her living room. She picks up a dog-eared copy of Mister God, this is Anna, written by Fynn. Her voice becomes a bit strained, and she looks at me, “I’ve been struggling lately. I am bombarded by so many opinions and ideas, and I don’t know what to believe and what to take notice of. Everyone wants to tell me what to do, what to think, and what decisions they think I should make. It is pretty overwhelming, and some days I battle to keep my hope and faith alive, to be honest with you.
“Then I reread this today,” she moves her glasses to the end of her nose. Instead of reading through them, she looks over them and starts to read from the book, “ ‘Fynn, what is the word for when you see it a different way?’
‘After a minute or two scrabbling about, the precise phrase she wanted was dredged out of me, the phrase ‘point of view’.
‘Fynn, that’s the difference. You see, everybody has got a point of view, but Mister God hasn’t. Mister God has only points to view.’ “
She takes her glasses off. Her green eyes are very green because of the purple bodysuit. The dark circles under her eyes testify to her confession of struggling. She skips over a few lines and continues, stressing the words of the sentence by reading them slowly, pronouncing the words carefully, “Humanity has an infinite number of points of view. God has an infinite number of viewing points. That means that – God is everywhere.” She pauses, smiles and leans into our conversation, “But listen to this piece of wisdom, “‘There’s another way that Mister God is different….Mister God can know things and people from the inside too. We only know them from the outside, don’t we?’ “
She sits back into her chair, folds over the corner of the page, winks at me, “Sacrilege, I know, this folding of the page, shh, don’t tell anyone. But don’t you think there is so much truth and wisdom in that piece? And peace. Peace in knowing that I am truly known from the inside by One who has an infinite number of viewing points? It makes me think of that song, ‘He’s got the whole world, in his hands.’ ”
She takes a sip of tea. Then, as she puts her cup down, she says matter of factly, “You know that you can’t go home before I have gone to the toilet, yeah?”
“No, why?” I ask.
“Someone needs to grab hold of the back bit of this bodysuit and hand it to me between my legs! How is that for a different perspective? You can’t say I do not keep you on your toes!”