The Radius of the Universe

There is a wonderfully confident girl sitting at the front of the bus. “You remember I got slapped, yeah? I got punched. Well the girl who did it had to go to hospital. Cos I don’t let anyone do anything.”

I think they are about twelve. The shorter one has black eyeliner painted out from the corner of the eyes and rosy blusher. She has not done her make-up well, but is practising, and will soon. She has a loud deep voice which made me fear they would mock my trans status until I realised that they are not interested in me. The taller one with a softer voice tries to join in but is mostly listening and learning. They look down on passers-by: that one is A’s boyfriend, no she dumped him.

The taller one has a problem with drafts at her window, and the shorter says she should board them up like her gran’s.
-I don’t want my windows boarded up.
-Well, you take them down during the day.

-OmiGod Miller? She had a toothache, she had a hole in that tooth there. She’s only three. No calpol. She took an energy drink and she said [mimicking higher, softer voice] Mummy, I don’t have a toothache any more.
You know what to do when she has a toothache, then. Give her an energy drink or pull her tooth out. I don’t think I’ve ever been to the dentist.

-I want to see the bus station blown up. [That was weeks ago.]
-Is this a one way system? [yes, it is.]
They are struggling to know about their world.

In Oliver’s, we have competition for the most erudite conversation- I heard no detail, but did hear a man at the next table mention TS Eliot. We win when Richard shows me the equations calculating the mass and size of the Universe:

MU =_______


13.8x109 light years.

So there you go.
Renoir, two girls in black

3 thoughts on “The Radius of the Universe

  1. Well this one to me was like “out of the blue”, Clare, didn’t know what to think of it as a whole so I ripped it apart to apply to me :D: I know the universe is so big T cannot even imagine the size, when I was little girl growing up on an island in Croatia my mum tied my tooth that hurt and was loose with a string tied the string to door knob made me stay put and shut the door hard and string and tooth went with it too – ouch but better soon and then the make up well in early sixties Down Under my first attempt at eyeshadow heavy and multicoloured ended up with a slap across my face from my poor father who just could not cope with the “cultural revolution” of the sixties 🙂


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