You’re not getting any more fuckin’ books!

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This morning, outside the shop, a young man stopped to look through the long window, he is about 16, maybe. He is dressed all in black, including a black beanie even though it is a warm day. He has a backpack made of canvas and leather and a pierced eyebrow. But his mother, who is just behind him and carrying three heavy bags, tells him he is not getting any more fuckin’ books. She walks on tiredly, carrying all the shopping, all their problems, their whole life there in amongst the bread and the shampoo.

The boy is shading his eyes, perhaps to see better, he examines the shelves for a long time.
People on the footpath outside the store often do this, but not for this long.

He stares at the books on the table in front of the window, turns his head to read titles, he shades his eyes to see better, staring into something for minute after minute, and longer. He turns his head abruptly toward the end of the street, his mother is coming back. He moves toward her, puts earplugs in, he takes the smallest bag, carrying for her a small part of their life. They move away again, and he is singing along to his music that only he can hear.

 

 

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