The wind picked Doris up and carried her high, high up into the sky. As she sailed over the trees and houses in her street she imagined the inhabitants moving through their day.

Noah would be in his shed, radio fixed on the football, tinkering with his still. Ernie and Lou would be sitting on milk crates discussing the score and watching their friend gently twist a valve to release the still’s potent glory into a battered plastic Coke bottle. Their tin camping mugs would clack together in quiet triumph at the corrugated oases they had created and their thirty years of friendship.

Old Mrs Vasoulos would be shuffling around her vegetable garden, lovingly picking green beans and cabbage leaves in homage to the routines of a family life long gone. Her daughter would arrive each afternoon at 3pm with washing and groceries. She would take her mother’s vegetables and her mother’s love but never leave much in return, save a cold sense of duty.

On the street’s corner, the McKenna’s would slam and scream their way through every moment; too many children to count, too many cars to park and too many arguments to sort. No sense of future or past, just one long, loud, angry day.

Doris day dreamed on her neighbours’ lives as she glided around the sky. She surrendered completely to the strong, cool currents of air that cradled and tossed her about. 

Her fate had been sealed the day she came to the street; a young and dutiful wife, quiet and unprepared to be bold. After only a moment’s hesitation, she surrendered to a parched suburban life and an emotionally dry husband. Her path was set and she flinched only slightly as she watched it stretch relentlessly out in front of her.

Throughout the years, Doris would watch all the lives in the street from a safe distance. At approximately twenty past ten each morning, a gentle wind would lift her up from her place at the sink and take her high above the clouds, away from the drone of the lawn mowers and the flap of the neighbours. Sometimes she would cry a little when she wanted to come down but the wind would not abate. But mostly she was content, drifting, sighing, waiting for the day the wind would finally take her to a place from which she would never have to come down.