A reader in the shop needs money for her books. She calls her husband from the back room, and he comes slowly because he is carrying his own books. But he offers his wallet. Then he says,
‘You just snatched. You just took a whole hundred.’
‘Well get some more. Go get some more.’
The husband looks at me and says, ‘Oh My God.’ Then he leaves his books on the counter and goes out.
It’s a slow day. Two other people are talking about land development in the front room. One says, ‘Yes, but that’s very sensitive information.’
Browsers are moving slowly. We all have the autumn slows. The money lady is checking her phone against the books she is holding.
A group of three ladies, all wearing black jackets, pass the door, all talking fast and loudly. I hear one sentence:
‘How does she know about it none of us talk about it I mean settle down.’
Then they’re gone.
Then the husband comes back with more money and a coffee. His wife, the one checking her phone, looks at the coffee. He says, ‘Oh My God,’ again, and looks up at the roof, and then gives her his coffee.
Then they pay for all their stuff, all good books, even a copy of Cosmo Cosmolino, and go back out in the sun to the bakery to get another coffee probably. When they walk away, they are both looking down at their books and she is drinking the coffee.
Painting by Im Buchladen