I saw a woman walking down a footpath towards the sea. One woman of a group of three pedestrians, not yet elderly, certainly no longer young.
They carried between them the paunch of middle age, tucked neatly under a belt or a waistband. The woman wore sensible leggings stretched out underneath a summer shift, a pursebag between the stripe of a strap across her back, sandals slapping on the footpath.
“I’ll let you know the next time we get one and I’ll send it over,” her friend was saying, as they swung past me on the final zig of the sea-bound zig zag.
“That’d be great,” the woman replied, leaning to her partner by her side. “Last time we paid, what was it? Sixty? You can go by train, but…”
As she said these words, she veered to her left, reached out a hand, grasped a stray branch and, with the deft clench of an expert, stripped the branch of leaves. She walked on, without breaking her stride.
“Oh no, you’ll want to fly,” her friend said.
But it was too late. In that moment, the woman had betrayed all of humanity for the apes we are.