Car 2


Miss Hilary Vialls

Outward appearance

A businesswoman in a TV commercial. Slim in a sharp grey suit. Legs elegantly crossed in sheer charcoal nylons. Small gold hoop earrings, which she fingers nervously. New blue bag, new black shoes.

Inside information

Hilary never thought that she would make 35 without being married. She is cripplingly shy. Works as an administrator at the London Television Centre. Studied the newsreader Gargy Patel, who looked half starved and scraggly at first but became stylish through grooming.

What she is doing or thinking

There is a terrible smell, which she thinks is coming from the man next to her. It makes her feel giddy, this stench of male. She doesn't quite hate it. It's like a sexual call for help. It fits with what he is doing.

She can't help staring. How can he be so brazen, circling sex ads in public? And those criteria! And the way he changes his mind!

It's also moving in way. The need is moving. So is the air of hard work. There's nothing lewd about it. He's treating it like an engineering problem.

That is irredeemably male, as are his clumsy baggy body, the fat pale hairy fingers.

She dresses to attract... who? She can't even picture him anymore. Someone handsome, but what is handsome, without a picture? Just a word. This man would need her. She might need him, even if he did treat her like an engineering problem. The train slows at Waterloo and both prepare to go their separate ways.

But she does not fancy the kind of man she thought she did.

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