strange shoppers

There’s a full moon in a pale sky. 6 pm is 6 in the morning with streets full of birdsong. Occasional rush-hour cars pass unhurriedly. Driving somewhere? Or just driving.

A pavement door slides open for business. One ten-scarce-items-or-less laden woman shuffles out, counting her children. I am permitted to fill a young man’s footsteps as his shoes fill another’s. And so two, three, four more come and go, empty aisles emptying fast and my feet reach the head of the queue.

Strange shoppers and I now circle each other’s spaces, following our own courses – a perfect orrery governed by anxious rules.

Back on the street a man, safe distance from me, asks for a little money for chips. 6 in the morning is all our teatimes but I have no change for him. He offers gratitude for poor apology and whistles a remembered tune for the birds in a pale sky with a full moon.

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