Car 7

253
Miss Anne Frank

Outward appearance

Elderly woman in a donkey jacket and old corduroy trousers. Lumpy bandages under stockings are visible over the tops of her scuffed shoes. She scans the rows of faces, stricken. She smiles sweetly, and says to the young man across from her, "Would you like to dance?"

He stares at her and doesn't answer. She looks at the foreign business woman, at the sad blonde girl, at the nervous old hippy. Anne starts to sing Is that all there is ? She starts to dance alone.

A tall black woman stands up, joins her, demands "Everybody!" The young man approaches and bows. In the aisle he and Anne begin a sedate waltz. A Chinese woman shrugs, takes out one of her party favours and blows it, unrolling it with wheeze. Out comes a puppet of John Lennon that starts to pump its feet. Someone passes around the whisky. By Lambeth North, the car is having a party.

Inside information

She is Anne Frank, the famous diarist, but she doesn't know that. She has wandered Europe for the last 50 years. She sometimes sees the face of a child in bookshop windows, and knows enough to be happy for her. That child got what it wanted. It is not what Anne wants.

What she is doing or thinking

Anne thinks she is still on the train to Auschwitz, and that she is trying to make people happy one last time. She thinks she is sprinkling joy from her eyes, with her voice. If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing.


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