There’s a man we see looking at books in the thrift shops. He’s about our age, small, thin, and wears a wool cap in all weather, and at all times of the year. He’s thoughtful, always alone, seldom buys anything, and doesn’t stay long. Yesterday I said hello very quietly, and he replied with a kind nod, his lips forming the same word, with just enough breath behind it that it could almost be heard.
We’ve seen each other many times over the years. This is the first we’ve almost spoken. It’s a perfect relationship. We know we like books. We know we prefer to be out and about in the morning, just as the shops are opening. We saw each other from across the room at a library book sale once, probably about five years ago, maybe more.
This is enough. It might happen again. It might not. We are random thoughts. Vague, yet familiar. Comforting, as one is comforted by the moon, or by an old tree that everyone understands must never be cut down. Let it end by lightning or old age. Until then, may we be light on our feet and light in our minds. May we be ready. May we be kind.
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