The walkers on the road through Strathalbyn

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The walkers, they walk past my shop. The door is closed, it’s dark inside, but I am here, working away, listening. Nobody can come in; the door is locked. But out there, on the little path, people pass by, still breathing.

‘And that was fine.’

The friend, nodding, ‘Yes. Yes.’

‘And then, after all of that…’

‘Yeah, I know. But she still didn’t say anything…’

‘Get in, I’ll hand you your stuff.’ There is a man balancing paper bags of hot food next to the car.  She climbs into the car, sits in the front seat. Her hand reaches out, waiting for the paper bag of hot pies, waiting for too long. She’s looking at her phone, waving her hand about, waiting.  He takes too long, he is looking at a motorbike across the road. She looks up, and says, ‘My God!’

The silent prams buzz past. Swift glance in, keep going. Things to do.

One man calling back to another man. ‘I wonder if they still sell kitchener buns, and you know…mint slice.’

‘You’re not allowed to have mint slice.’

‘No, it’s alright now.’

Somebody talking loudly into their phone. ‘And even if they took your temperature….’

‘Na, he hasn’t got anything, na, no, he’s a moron anyway,’

‘Are they open?’ Faces at the window, looking in, frowning.

‘Hang on to me Dee, this perishing corner.’ People trying to cross the road. Carrying strong handbags.

‘You’re getting too close, do you need to do that? Don’t get quite so close. What are you looking at.’ A father to his young son.

‘I can’t read it. It’s too far away.’

‘Oh, Oh, yes I understand.’

A man breathing heavily. Placing paper bags in the back of his ute. Breathless, lighting a cigarette, leaning there, looking out over the apologetic world.  Looking over the road at the closed art gallery and the closed information centre.  Looks down at the road. Climbs into his car. Remembers his lunch and climbs back out again.

‘She’s closed! Yep! Fucking knew it!’ Young people, caring fiercely.

A customer, an old man, passing slowly, looks in straight at me. Nods. Yes.

11 thoughts on “The walkers on the road through Strathalbyn

  1. I love reading your vignettes. I feel like I’m there, it’s so real. In many ways, your little glimpses into another world remind me of 84 Charing Cross Road or a good Maeve Binchy. Both are delightful insights into a faraway place and time. Maeve has a wonderful knack of making you feel a characters every emotion and you do too.
    Methinks the bookseller should turn author. I’ll be your first purchaser please.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I loved that book too. I’ve never watched the film because how could it possibly compare? Wonderful book. I love Maeve Binchy too. Her characters are just incredible. You don’t read her books, you live them. Just like your lovely posts

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sure you will be back 🙂
    The wardrobe will always lead to Narnia, a train will always leave from platform 9 and 3/4, and people will always return to lose themselves in the comforting magic of your little shop.
    Looking forward to hearing from you soon 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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