Not a lot happened. People came in and whispered and left.
Some rain came down.
There was an argument at the intersection. I watched. A young man got out of his car as he waited to turn right. The ute in front was too slow. His shoulders were upped and roundy, threatening, like cat’s fur hit by electricity. The young men in the ute watched him with narrow eyes. Just as he approached their car, they accelerated, leaving him there, middle finger raised. Alan was at my door, watching. Delighted. He laughed his laugh, no doubt wishing it hadn’t ended so easily.
Fred knocked and waved.
Sarah came in and complained. She’d been thrown out of the craft group. She showed me her botanical colouring book. I admired the hot pink petals on all the roses. She was pleased.
Alan came back, peered through the door and left again. He and Sarah don’t always get on.
Some rain came down.
A man came in looking for Dr Who. He said, ‘I daren’t get any of those, they might be wrong. I’ll wait till she’s out of school.’
Someone phoned to book into the history tour, but ‘all the tours are finished now’. They hung up abruptly.
I shelved a few books. Thought about Edith Sitwell and Vita Sackville-West. Virginia Woolf. Leonard Woolf. I have been tugged down a rabbit hole; I followed a biography of Edith Sitwell, and now it is hard to recover. Nobody has heard of Edith except Virginia Woolf.
A young woman came in, looked about and left in a rush. She said, I’m sorry.
Some children come past. A boy is pushed, and he falls into my doorway.
‘Get him up.’
The child is hauled to his feet. ‘Shit, sorry. God. Why’d you even fall? Did a trap get you or something?’
Another child screams, ‘There’s someone in there. Get the police.’ They all look at me, and then they are gone.
A truck goes past.
I sort things. A woman comes in with books to sell, but I can’t buy. I have no space. She looks around with a tense mouth. She says, ‘OK’, and leaves.
Lovely Marion comes in and checks Fantasy. She’s collecting Terry Goodkind but has just discovered he died last year. She is not impressed. We talk about Sara Donati and Diana Gabaldon. She waves. ‘Bye, dear.’
There’s a crash of plates from inside the bakery. We hear it inside my shop. A customer says, ‘Jesus!’
I remember yesterday, during the rain, a grandson came in. He’s two. There was a crowd (unusual for May), and Finn called, ‘Nanny, Nanny, Nanny’, over the conversation, over the hustle, over the entire planet, and I heard, easily.We locked eyes. Kin.
Last night I read him ‘Hairy Maclary’, six stories, till he fell away, but I kept reading the seventh before switching to Edith Wharton because there she was in the same stack of books I made last week when I was reading to a different grandson.
A customer nearly buys a book about Yoga.
A young man buys a pile. He can’t speak. He just looks at his books. He chokes and says, ‘these’.