I go into W H Smith at quarter to nine.  I must look lost because I’m pounced upon by a member of staff.

‘Can I help you with anything?’ she asks.

I say, ‘I’m looking for a 15 centimetre ruler, preferably in translucent blue, and a ball of string.’

The girl looks at me.  She is maybe seventeen.  I remember working with customers in a job I hated at around seventeen.  You cannot help looking at strange people in the strange way that they deserve.

She points to the correct isle.

‘Is there anything you want, sir?’

Is there anything else I want?  Anything else from life?

All I want is straight lines and twine.

‘That’s it.  Thank-you.’

Walking back to work I see a bus driver forced to get out of his seat to lower the ramp for a man in a wheelchair.  The driver looks thoroughly irritated.  The man in the wheelchair waits patiently, awkwardly, as the driver slams down the ramp and gets back into his high little chair in his little driver’s booth.

It rained yesterday and it will probably rain again today.


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