‘No, not cold, it’s just me, I’m always cold.’ He smiled sideways. This young man, springy and bouncy with glasses that were always about to fall off, was in my shop, looking for any book that is really good.
He swayed from side to side, sighs, smiles. He said he could spend a long time here. He holds a book and stares down at the cover. Doesn’t move. Stares at the title, turns it over and stares at the back. Says, yes.
Then he heard the saxophone.
Customers always take some time to hear the music. The music drops, clean and delicate, down on top of them from a speaker above the Wordsworth classics. Some people stare up at it in amazement. How did that get there? Today, it’s saxophone, and he heard it. Accepted it, as an extended part of the books. A continuing of Pinocchio. An addition to agony, or Primo Levi. An impossible, possible blend of Edward Abbey and Margaret Atwood.
He leaned into the curve of it, eyes closed, moving his ears up and down the shining notes. He said, smooth. He said, Smooth, with a capital S.
He said, ‘I haven’t had lunch yet. I haven’t even had breakfast yet.’
So he left, to get some food. He had red hair.
Sculpture by Adam Binder