This morning, two young girls with beautiful shoulder bags visited the shop. I don’t remember them here before. They settled in. I sat back with respect. True readers.
‘Lord of the Rings…. look at these…do you have The Sils?’
‘Yeah, ages ago…’
‘Every book that he’s written…’
‘I know, right!’
‘Do you think I should get something about…’
‘I shouldn’t be looking at this, but I love roses…’
They are young and can kneel easily. They can include the bottom shelves. They are not fatigued by high shelves. Reach and lift. Scan books on their knees and get up rapidly again. Their shoulders are not rounded. Once a lady told me she cannot read the titles on any books above her head or below her knees, and I needed to get rid of everything on the highest and lowest shelves. She was really angry. She had shoulders that were argumentative.
One girl cradles, then hugs the book about roses.
They can both walk and read at the same time. I used to be able to do this. The angry woman had said that my shop would cause injuries.
‘Look at this.’ The girls whisper darkly and laugh and laugh and laugh.
They sit on their heels, easily.
Once a man said I needed to do something about my doorway.
‘You need to do something about this doorway. Bloody ridiculous.’
The girls are are counting coins on the floor.
They stand up and look at each other’s armloads, then look down to examine their own cuddled stack. Then they move to another shelf. They have not yet got enough.
The angry lady had said that she would not return.
One girl said, ‘I’m going to fly with these. Just got The Last Unicorn.’
‘Did you get that?’
They pay and leave, hugging their books. Hugging their books. When they floated past my window, they were hugging their books.
Wild Swans by Arnaldo Mirasol