Liesel is wearing a tight-fitting beige dress standing with a whole bunch of other girls wearing tight-fitting beige dresses, so that from a distance it looks like they are naked. Jacqui O sunnies and tzuged coiffs. tanned and taut and semi-tanked, swaying across Alison Road to the Randwick Raceground. Sarah doesn’t know them. She’s just watching this scene from her car at the traffic lights. Sarah feels a wash of disgust and a kind of shame by proxy. It’s a weird feeling to have but more than that, she knows it’s no good for her. And it’s no good for Leisel and her mates, thinks Sarah, who are probably right now discussing who’s brought the cocaine and who is most likely to get with Patrick. Sarah judges Leisel from the driver’s seat, and then she judges herself. I’m a judgemental cow, she thinks. The judgements are coming thick and fast now. Their skirts are too way short. The one with the raven hair is way too overtly sexual. They have no self-control. They have no self-respect. Sarah sits in her car wishing she could summon some compassion, some tenderness, some god-damn loving-kindness. The lights change and she drives on, her hard heart heavy in her chest.



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