A middle-aged lady, her hair still black, or was it dye? Middle-aged clothes off the racks at Mervyns that everybody wore, even the young women, the girls in their make-up and curled hair. The same that the middle-aged women wore. Except that lady wore rings with stones the size of chickpeas, and they weren't from Sears.
A middle-aged lady, sitting in front of a screen, watching the documents scroll past, five days a week. Sometimes she developed the film, or sorted the boxes instead. Five days a week for the past seven years, never calling in sick, two weeks of vacation a year. Where did she go?
A middle-aged lady, who chose Nora for her American name, happy in her bubble where the worst thing that happened was heavy traffic for the commute, or a supervisor in a jealous snit. Nothing things. No patrol squads, even though it was a military town. Never bodies on the sidewalk or guns in the hall. Happy. Banal. Safe. But still wearing those rings to work just in case.