“You’re a stupid bitch!” A disembodied woman’s voice spoke with a gentle laughing lilt.
I craned my neck to see around my friend: two women were just sitting down at a neighboring outdoor table.
“You’re a stupid bitch!” she said. There was no anger in her voice. I looked at her – she was speaking into her phone. Then I got it. She wasn’t “saying” the sentence, she was quoting it.
“‘You’re a stupid bitch!’” she said again, with a smile. Maybe she’d finally mustered the nerve just hours earlier to tell someone off, someone who’d been plaguing her? Maybe she was following her resolve not to harbor feelings of hostility until they festered but to simply let loose immediately? Maybe she and her friend had a tradition of calling each other names, using the phrases their unpleasant joint ex-boyfriend had been known to utter?
published 13 October 2012