Car 6

Mrs Alenka Misjeka Garrison

Outward appearance

Fierce faced, well built, middle-aged woman. Hair in a professional bob. Under the bulky coat, her white suit displays devastating cleavage.

Inside information

Alenka's husband is nice, good looking, and works constantly to keep her happy. For Christmas gave her a Ford Sierra. Alenka works constantly at being friendly with her 14 year old step-daughter. She is a civil engineer for Dobbs near Blackfriars. Unusually for a woman in an engineering company, she holds a senior position.

Until 1968 Alenka's father was a notable figure in the Czech government. Alenka remembers giving wrong directions to the invading Russian troops. The Foreign Ministry helped her family escape by giving them holiday visas for Tunisia. They lived in Tunis for four years, then were granted entry to the UK. Alenka changed countries at 14 and 18. She now habitually restages such catastrophic migrations.

What she is doing or thinking

The season has changed. Alenka will get off at Waterloo and instead of turning right for Blackfriars, she will turn left for the Shuttle to Paris.

To lose her too-nice husband whom she pictures unloading clothes from a laundry basket. She sees his trusting daughter. Learn, Alenka tells her: life is not for trusting.

Her computer full of notes and research; her closet full of clothes and shoes; the flat full of photographs from this life; especially the Christmas Sierra. She will lose everything. She will be stripped of it, as if naked. That makes her feel engorged. In a dream, she gets off and walks towards the Shuttle.

London Spring.

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