‘I don’t know what you mean,’ said Swiss Lady, sounding confused. So I tried again, describing the – occasional – advantages of invisibility. Not so much when you are trying to order at the bar, but the ability to walk down the street and not be noticed, is useful. Unless a car runs you over.

I tried spelling it out, saying that when you reach that old, grey, uninteresting and unimportant stage, this can be a blessing. Pushing a toddler in a pushchair was my last encounter with ‘not really being there’ and it was all right. If necessary you can always accidentally shove the pushchair into people’s shins.

But no, Swiss Lady had never come across this phenomenon. She is older than I am, but better looking and so vivacious that invisibility has obviously not set in.

It’s not just me, though. A well known crime writer described her recent wine buying experience, where the young shop assistant stopped halfway through checking her bottles out to chat to someone equally young, but not spending money. When our author inquired if he’d prefer for her to come back later, he managed to return to the task at hand. Before leaving she told him what happened in ‘the episode in Frankie and Grace where Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda get so annoyed at being invisible in the liquor store that they steal what they want — and even then the clerk doesn’t notice them.’

Ignore us at your peril.


5 responses to “Invisible

  1. This reminds me of something I once had on a t-shirt: “Old age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill.” Then I was 27 and it seemed cynical in a humorous way, but now that I am 59, it’s positively motivating.

  2. Pingback: “Invisible” by Bookwitch | Phil Slattery's Blog

  3. Pingback: “Invisible” by Bookwitch | Phil Slattery Art

  4. I think I’ve had the gift of invisibility for a long time. One time I was standing next to my co-worker, and neither he nor I had moved, and he turned for me and jumped. What are YOU doing here? he asked. He seemed to think I had some sort of well, witchlike powers, which I assured hi, I did not. Or at least I’ve never been able to use them to any noticeable advantage.

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