Today is so cold that it seems funny. And our Flinders Rangers has had snow. Customers come in shivering and happy. There is rain. The cold enters my shop under the door, sliding constantly and silently like a slice of cold glass as long as the day.
Marion comes in with screwed up eyes and very happy. ‘Can you feel that?’
A couple browse and leave reluctantly, holding the door open for a while before dropping off the jetty into the freezing lake, holding hands.
Robert is hilarious with anticipation. He orders more books. Someone has backed into his car recently. Actually about six people have. The size of the car parks is criminal. We criticize the council in comfortable tones. We talk about yoga. A young woman, looking through women’s classics, asks if yoga will help her with a sore neck. She and Robert exchange news in joyful symptoms.
A man passes the shop outside wearing shorts and a t shirt. He has muddy boots and is eating something hot from a paper bag. The food must be too hot because he stops suddenly with a pained expression and sucks in air to cool the system. He raises his shoulders and closes his eyes. He is wearing the most beautiful sky blue and moss green striped soft beanie that I wish were mine.
A customer adds more titles to her already impossible library, a library that is now growing according to its own laws, and within which she has become the explorer, constantly shocked and constantly happy.
A couple visit to see if I know about the snow in the Flinders.
A crowd of students pass the windows, loud, puffing white breath. One says, ‘Well, fuck him then.’ She has her arm around a friend. Is walking and leaning in kindly. The friend is snuffling, she looks cold and loved.
A lady crosses the silent frozen road wearing gold corduroy trousers, a soft jumper, a scarf, and good solid thongs. She watches her feet as they tread gently through the water. I wonder if she knows about the snow in the Flinders.