A Sigh in the Supermarket By midmorning Highland Park is a no-man’s-land, a town given over to women and babies.The men who remain—police officers, yardmen, carpenters—are insignificant compared to the numbers of visible women.Ann is 34, recently divorced, the mother of Tommy, 9, a fourth-grader at John Armstrong Elementary School, and Shana, 15, a freshman at Highland Park High School.
As Ann began her run, carrying a cloth napkin to wipe away the sweat, the morning silence was interrupted only by the hum of air conditioning units dispensing comfort and cold air and by the periodic roar of jet aircraft overhead.
Her hair is a sun-streaked blonde, and she often ties it back on her neck with a ribbon.
She has deeply tanned skin, crinkly squint lines around her eyes, a good, healthy body.
Tommy sat in the front seat with his notebook and lunch box, relating an interminable tale about some television show, mimicking the voices of the different characters.
Shana sat in the back, staring out the window, quiet and moody, occasionally firing statements at her mother about why she should get a hardship license so she could drive at fifteen.
As always, nothing appeared to be amiss along the streets of Highland Park—the still-slumbering neighborhood seemed to have existed forever.