Outside the shop, this morning, there was a clang. Five ladies all bumped into each other, unexpectedly.
‘Well, ha ha ha, how are we all?’ Somebody took charge.
There was also a little dog, Marco. Yvonne and Marco pass every morning. Yvonne once gave me a picture (on a glazed tile) of a bookshop she thought looked like mine. This was when I first opened, and it made me very happy. Yvonne grew up in England and said she was quite a dish when she was young.
Everyone laughed and leaned in. There was discussion about an email.
‘It took me 20 minutes to open it.’
‘Ahhhhh. Well. Technology!’ They all agreed on technology.
Through the window I could see bright jumpers, shopping bags, a rose coloured beanie, and Marco, the patient gentleman.
‘The sun, isn’t it good.’
There was more discussion, low voices and leaning in. Laughter.
‘Catch you next time.’ Laughter. ‘Isn’t this funny.’ Laughter.
‘See you, girls.’ Laughter.
‘Yes, see you next time.’
‘Yes, and I’ll get that email.’ Laughter. They part. They move, and they let each other go.
‘What’d she say? I missed that bit.’ This is Yvonne to her friend, moving slowly on. ‘Didn’t she say something about dogs?’
‘I don’t know, I missed that bit.’
And on they go, past my door, past my window. Nobody looks in. I imagine the outside of my shop as if in a dream. I imagine it as beautiful. But nobody looks in. Life is so urgent.