When Sarah Visited the Shop Again on a Cold and Dull Day

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Sarah came this afternoon to pick up her Faber Book of Love Poetry and a copy of David Copperfield.

She said she has a shelf this big full of books as yet unread and it was time now to get stuck in. She looked pleased as she thought about this.

She talked, as she always does about how her mum read all her life, and how it was when her mum died and how it is now and how she, herself, once bought a costume and wore it, walking around the block on New Year’s Eve which outraged her friend and scandalised the neighbourhood.

She said that she has always been a one for standing near the edges of things, and that most of the time she’s had no choice.

She spoke disapprovingly of the Liberals, of Telstra and of Tony Abbott and described her bitterness against Jetstar, whose online booking system is a disgrace.

She said: I’m glad you’re open, it adds a bit of colour to my days, it does.

And this is a bit like Sarah herself, a survivor on the ragged, steep edges of things without a trace of self-pity, armored only with individuality and a love for classic literature and political biographies. And she adding colour to my day.

Soon she announced that it was time to get on home and sort the laundry. She promised to return and tell me what David Copperfield is actually like as there is no point in going by the movie of it. And she left with her books carefully packed, swinging the bag and herself through the door, into survival and the rest of the day.