Less quick-as-a-flash this time, but purposely kept to 300 words. An anecdote, mostly heard perhaps third or fourth hand, so must be considered fiction.
'It's astonishing how many people' she said 'don't know how to hem a pair of trousers. But I don't mind, it means they pay me to do them.'
The man who often came to have his trousers hemmed certainly wasn't skilled like that. He wasn't very skilled socially either, somewhere on the autistic spectrum, seldom speaking to her or to anyone. She was easy and accepting round him, not trying too hard to draw him out. She got on well enough too with the young man with Downs syndrome, to whom she gave a regular lift into the town where she had her small business and he attended a day centre. The few words they exchanged followed established patterns:
She: 'Which CD shall we play?'
He: 'This one.'
He: 'It's nearly the weekend!'
She: 'Yep. Doing anything nice?'
The man who came to have his trousers hemmed would stand silent in her downstairs sewing room as she moved quickly round his feet, pinning and tacking. He looked away and wouldn't meet her eyes, answered her in monosyllables, paid his couple of dollars on collection and hurried off.
In the week following her sudden and unexpected death, her family - husband and just-grown children - decided to bring her body home for a time before the funeral, trying to give themselves something of the time with her they hadn't had, however little. They laid her in the sewing room, it was her space, and on the ground floor was easier, looking out onto the garden.
The following day, people came and went, and outside the window of the sewing room, the man who had come to have his trousers hemmed stood, his face pressed to the glass, looking at her and talking non-stop.