Friends

06 June 2011

The Bag Lady

I once wrote a couple of stories about a bag lady (here and here) although they were nothing like the one I’m going to tell you about now. They (both about the same bag lady) were fictitious whereas this one is real life.

Up the road and round the corner from my house, in a road lined with superb properties, there lives a woman I think of as a bag lady. She looks like one. Her clothes are, to say the least, drab and dirty. She dresses from head to toe in black and whatever the weather she is clad in a hooded black raincoat, a flowing garment that completely encompasses her enormous size. As she shuffles along the soles of her shabby shoes flap as she lifts a foot and squeaks as it falls into place when her foot hits the ground. In twenty years I have never seen her look any different, even the bag she carries resembles a black plastic bin bag.

The woman lives in a wonderful house, big and beautifully designed, with two garages. As with the other houses in the road hers must have at least five bedrooms, a bathroom, two very big living rooms, separate dining room, and a massive kitchen, but the curtains are always drawn so no-one can see inside. The gravelled drive is a dramatic one, curving gently as it heads towards the front door, bypassing several unruly shrubs and a birdbath that looks ready to fall down. I know from other residents that her back garden is a huge wilderness.

She leaves the house at the same time each morning and returns at precisely four o’clock, both journeys undertaken without a word to her neighbours or a remark to passing strangers.

The story goes that she is filthy rich. Filth I can understand, but rich? Yet the more I think about it the more I believe it to be true. She is never seen in shops yet she returns each day with a bulging bag. Does she go begging or is she one of those that ransacks litter bins? Considering the high rates we have to pay the upkeep of the house must be expensive, not to mention the cost of utility services, and she certainly doesn’t squander money on clothes!

What turned her into a recluse? How did she come to own such a fantastic house? Did a broken love affair turn her mind or did a marriage go wrong? Or could she have been a daughter who gave up her life to care for parents? I guess we’ll never know the answer but speculation is intriguing.

11 comments:

Gill - That British Woman said...

I'd be dying to know that as well.....let us know if you ever find out.....

Gill in Canada

Brian Miller said...

your new assignment is to go meet her and get that story val!!! smiles

Crystal Jigsaw said...

She sounds terribly eccentric, and particularly interesting, too. I'd love to knock on her front door and have a little glimpse into her life.

CJ xx

Ron said...

Valerie, the manner in which you described this bag woman was brilliant because I got a clear and definite picture of what she looked like....

"She dresses from head to toe in black and whatever the weather she is clad in a hooded black raincoat, a flowing garment that completely encompasses her enormous size. As she shuffles...."

Great imagery!

Living in a city, I witness similar characters walking the streets and wonder the same things.

Great post, dear lady! Have a lovely day....X

Denise said...

Whatever her story is I bet it is a very interesting one.

Montanagirl said...

That's really interesting. It sure makes one wonder. I'd love to sit down and have a conversation with her!

Valerie said...

Gill, after all this time I guess it's unlikely that I'll ever know the truth.

Brian, other people have tried speaking to her but she either doesn't hear them or doesn't wish to respond.

CJ, so would I,

Ron, I'm glad you could see her clearly. I can (almost) understand seeing them in big cities but in this quiet residential area she really stands out.

Denise, I'm sure of it. I wish I could mind read!

Mona, so do I.

An English Shepherd said...

You do hear about lots of people who live poor but die rich having never spent money on themselves.

Its so very sad :-(

(nice post however!)

Pat said...

Maybe you should do a little sleuthing and follow her one morning! You've got us all wondering now!

faye said...

Maybe you could have a chat with her.. even if others have failed,
she may respond to your special
warmth.

Bernie said...

Maybe she needs a friend Val, have you tried saying hello? You have me interested in her now...:-)Hugs