The political biographies occupy the window in an arrogant and useless kind of way.
Three ladies are out there, together, come off a bus across the road. I can see the driver sprinting for the bakery.
I can hear the ladies. They are bent over, peering in.
‘Sue was reading one of his books…’
They laugh wildly. (I wonder, who is Sue…?)
‘Caroline read it, too. When she…you know…’
I knew she wouldn’t lend me, so I asked for it at the library.’
‘They take an age though.’
They all agreed that libraries take too long. I still don’t know what they are referring to. I remain still. Eavesdropping is rude. It would not do for people to know. Is it Paul Keating? Surely not.
‘I wouldn’t mind it. She said it makes you feel good.’
‘You know you can read it and…’
Whee yes! That’s what she said.’
‘I’m going in.’
‘Anne’s going in, bless her’.
“Anne” poked about amongst the political and knocked Keating to the floor. She picked up The Happiest Refugee and brought it to me. She said, ‘A hardback, no less. That makes me happy. It’s Anh Do!’
She opened her kind handbag and found the money. She looked at me and said richly, deeply, ‘Read it read it read it! You must read it. It’ll make you feel good.’
Then she left, thrusting the book at her friends, who bobbed up and down and exclaimed, ‘Anne, you’re a one!’
And they walked on, Anne with the book, and the others talking about having a colonoscopy.
Artwork by Pat Brennan