Her face is still burning into me, like the face from the horror movie poster by the Basak Supermarket (which incidently came into my dream last night, along with carbohydrate-based meals). It's been over an hour and a half and I'm stuck in a groove of weighing up whether I should trust her, whether she's a hugely talented faker, whether twenty five quid is a worthy price for being made into a fool, Googling her pieces for some sort of lead to the truth. I think truth is the one thing I aim for, and open ends keep me dangerously hanging, brain whirring, a torture continuum.
I gave a stranger twenty five quid like it was £2. After saying just two days ago that I hate charity, never having given a penny to a homeless person and never warming to leaflet pleas, there I was on the way home from the car boot, head in bargain cookbooks, when an honesty pulled at my arm. I connected with it's real desperation, wherever it came from, and sat her on the wall by Tesco. A broken-looking thing, all bruises and swollen ankles, mashed in nail varnish and smudged eyeshadow, she jarred on the sunny Sunday street. She told (stories) as I listened and conferred with myself, wading in my views which were far from straight-up.
Perhaps I went out to spend some money this morning, and the car boot didn't provide objects. Perhaps I bought a person today, like the adopted-granddaughter my nan has in Africa, who's handwritten letters are likely scrawled by a left-handed scammer. Whatever. It teaches me a separate lesson, that even after an activity has passed, I must continue to process it and run in through until ultimate truths are reached. What I need to do is sacrifice the search, and all the effort it takes. Sometimes truth doesn't deliver.
I just followed a piece to Homerton Hospital admissions department, her maybe-I-didn't-quite-catch-it name wasn't on the discharged list. Maybe she was an excellent fake. Maybe she took the notes back to her mates in Maccy's and got full breakfasts all round. She definitely needed it. Maybe true fakes are the most true of all. I wasn't pressured into giving her money, in the moment, on the wall there. My cynic sat back for once, as I saw us the same. I don't care if I got robbed of one purple and one blue. I don't, really. It makes my cookbooks non-bargains if anything, or covers the ballet-lindy-ballet I didn't do this week because of my shoulder. But the truth, hanging, hurts. And which column does it fit in my accounts?