She was having lunch, outside, in the park area the office complex created for their workers. Carefully constructed and landscaped, the park had a series of paths that followed the rise and fall of slight inclines, leading around in a tour of the grounds. The park had comfortable wrought-iron benches, some located in the sun, others under what would be shade when the trees planted behind the benches grew to maturity. The manicured lawns sparkled in the sun from a watering that finished before the lunch hour began.
Marilyn chewed a skinless, white meat chicken sandwich on organic bread brushed with mustard. Low fat. Low calorie. Good protein. She had a plastic box of brown rice made fresh that morning. Complex carbohydrates. The combination tended to leave her slightly logy in the afternoon but, so the literature said, nothing went into storage. The body burned off what she ingested, everything in balance.
Linked together by loops of yellow nylon rope, a chain-gang of children was led through the park. Two teachers preceded them, one holding the start of the rope, giving admonishments of staying together, walking in step. All rather military for a group of five year olds.
Marilyn stopped eating, put her sandwich down and watched the little line as it passed twenty feet from her, her head turning as they moved beyond toward the buildings at the far end of the park where the business complex resumed and the park ended, watched them walking, dipping, skipping, hopping, attended by two teachers in front, one in back, laughing and swaying and flinging their arms as far as the yellow cord permitted. She watched them until they were out of sight and their laughter a memory like the illusion of a rainbow after the water fades.
To return to the story, go to Part 18