But that’s ok, it’s usually the way. Days like today give you time to sit and think and notice what’s actually going on. So far this morning has yielded the following:
Four old men, clearly friends, lean against a ute drinking water out of a water pig, one of those old foam ones. There is one cup, so they share it. One man wants to go to the bakery but is advised against it. They have biscuits in the cab.
When I look up again they are sharing scotch fingers around, shaking crumbs out of their sandals and saying that the town has come a long way. One man is staring into my front window.
Inside, a lady says that her library is alphabetical- it’s A to Z, but her friends says hers is purely aesthetic. ‘Matthew Reilly is put here and Harry Potter is there. It’s about how they look.’
Her friends says, ‘That makes sense. I get that.’
‘I can’t have sets that don’t match, and I can’t have stuff without dustcovers.’
‘Mine are lined up in order of publication.’
‘You’d think that in a bookstore where we find everything alphabetically, we’d have that in our homes too.’
Then they go into the back room. The old men have walked past my door toward the bakery. Guess they changed their minds.
Someone has parked in front of them and I can hear a lady yelling, ‘You keep locking it. What are you doing? Stop locking it. Dickhead.’
And inside the shop:
‘Girl, this room will eat you alive.’
‘Is that Celtic or something?’
‘I think so. I saw it on my Tik Tok feed.’
‘The bee keeper community is strange.’
Brenda rings for Wild at Heart for her granddaughter and I say, ‘Good to hear from you again’, and she says, ‘Oh I’ve been in hospital, not complaining though.’
A man pumps hand sanitizer all over his shoes but doesn’t notice.
Outside the old men are back with hot coffees, which they drink leaning against the ute and talk about the truck across the road – at least I think they are because they keep pointing at it and nodding.
Inside the shop, the ladies are still collecting:
‘Oh my God.’
‘Calm your farm.’
‘Look at this. The first one I got from a discount bin. It was a hard read.’
‘Russell Brand and I don’t see eye to eye.’
‘He’s a bit of a douche canoe, but I love him.’
Lorna rings me for James Herriot, second hand, please.
The ladies are leaving. The old men are climbing back into the ute. The shouting lady has returned from the bakery with paper bags and cans of coke. Walks quietly because she has no shoes on. The truck is gone. There’s a four wheel drive here now and the owner is walking around and around it, tapping the bumper bar with his keys.
Sarah goes past but doesn’t come in.
The man tapping the bumper bar is now talking on the phone right next to my door and saying, ‘Someone’s been at this.’ He listens for a long time to whoever’s on the phone and then hangs up without saying anything. Then he gets back in the car and drives away.