Looky at this door, look at the sign… the two old men stopped together to look at my shop door this morning and examine the sign hanging on the glass. They read it out loud: please come in, second hand books, har, har, har, who’d go inta here do y reckon? Then they turned abruptly, and I saw them looking, frowning up the road: crikey the trucks are noisy, but I don’t mind the Western Star outfits…that’s one thing I do not mind.
Now they are both looking up and down the road and up and down their memories and they review their knowledge of the superior value of American trucks. And then they remember their original point which was that nobody reads anymore. No that’s right. My grandkids only have phones and things. Not one of em can even fix a flat. Don’t tell me about them! They both lean back, contemptuous. They are looking through the second window now, then they move to the third. And then it is time to go and the first man grips the second man’s shoulder and the second man, his friend, turns steadily and considerately and safely and everybody stays upright and then I can’t see or hear them anymore, two old friends, their stories written long ago in many, many books, many countries, safely preserved and still important.