Three teenagers outside my shop on kick scooters, one wobbling, the others adroit, all watching the ground carefully and weaving in and out of passers-by, graceful in winter.
Two people pass, loud, as people usually are in the mornings. There was a flash of checked shirts and jeans, a tap on the edge of the door, that’s all. But their voices, loud, loud, floated back, hanging in the doorway:
‘I saw a wagon type one the other day.’
‘Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah…’
‘It’s really good shit.’
‘Yeah, yeah, yeah.’
Lena visits wearing gardening gloves. Safe.
Terry, in a sapphire blue beanie, reads out loud to me from a little joke book he has just bought. He reads about twenty jokes to me, and says, ‘This is great, it’s just the one – thank you so much. Gunna give these to my grandkids.’
His face is a lit lamp.
Illustration by Jean Jacques Sempe