Wednesday 16 January 2008

Books, babies

The wavelets still rippling in the pond, which has farther shores than I’d guessed: I take books into the post office, How much for this one to the States? And this one to Australia? ‘Books?’ he asks, suspiciously: surely they have books in these countries already, their own ones? Behind me a Polish woman is rummaging through the shelves of birthday and Valentine and get-well-soon and sorry-I-messed-up cards. She speaks very little English. ‘Grandson,’ she says. How old? I ask. ‘One hour!’ she says. And then: ‘Two!’ We find two cards, identical, not the best but she has been a mother for two decades and now she is suddenly a grandmother too and she needs to make a start on this new job. She pushes aside my books in order to pay and get on the bus and rush to see her one-hour-old twin grandchildren. Aquarians, like me. When they are my own age now I will be a hundred and twelve.

No comments: