What we’re aiming for, says Aunt Lydia, is a spirit of camaraderie among women. We must all pull together.
Camaraderie, shit, says Moira through the hole in the toilet cubicle. Right fucking on, Aunt Lydia, as they used to say. How much do you want to bet she’s got Janine down on her knees? What you think they get up to in that office of hers? I bet she’s got her working away on that dried-up old withered–.
Moira! I say.
Moira what? she whispers. You know you’ve thought it.
It doesn’t do any good to talk like that, I say, feeling nevertheless the impulse to giggle. But I still pretended to myself, then that we should try to preserve something resembling dignity.
You were always such a wimp, Moira says, but with affection. It does so do good. It does.
And she’s right, I know that now, as I kneel on this undeniably hard floor, listening to the ceremony dron one. There is something powerful in the whispering of obscenities, about those in power. There’s something delightful about it, something naughty, secretive, forbidden, thrilling. It’s like a spell, of sorts. It deflates them, reduces them to the common denominator where they can be dealt with. In the paint of the washroom cubicle someone unknown had scratched: Aunt Lydia sucks. It was like a flag waved from a hilltop in rebellion. There mere idea of Aunt Lydia doing such a thing was in itself heartening.
So now I imagine, among these Angels and their drained white brides, momentous grunts and sweating, damp furry encounters; or, better, ignominious failures, cocks like three-week-old carrots, anguished fumblings upon flesh cold and unresponding as uncooked fish.