You take the small exit. The door only open today because it is sunlit outside, because it would be too warm in the shop otherwise. You take the exit and return to the side-street. Shoe-battered flagstones. Loudness of footsteps amplified, it seems, by the shadows that crowd between this building and the building facing.
You walk out into the street, walk along it with the pockets of your jacket – conspiring to make it hotter still – laden, chock-full with books. Weighted, as though with stones on your way to the river.
If these are stones, then they are stones from which you can easily draw blood. Blood and warmth – not like sunshine, but similar – and voices and words. And songs, and company, and recipe lists. And chemicals, it seems, that spark off passions in you. Feed both lust and intellect in equal measure.
The things of living, fixed and held steady for a time, so as you might think more closely on them. Bearhug them tightly, cut off from the slipstream and the traffic and the conveyor belt crowds.
Stones that can flip the world, and nature’s ever onwards-marching order, so that, instead of sinking you, they carry you up.
They clatter against your hips as you enter the plaza, leave shadows and echoes behind for the day. The clatter gains pace as you come nearer the station, more eager than ever to get home and read.