A girl, maybe four years old in a pink snowsuit, lets go of her mum’s hand and lies down next to the sidewalk where the snow is thin and crusty and streaked with black from cars. She flaps arms and legs in a vain attempt to make an angel. Her mum doesn’t stop her, doesn’t fuss about black snow; just stands and watches and laughs. Lucky girl.
I see two crows shouting the odds outside my window, and bird breath—little puffs of steam with every caw-caw.
An employee at the Salvation Army store goes through books on the shelves, now and then tossing one into a cardboard box… I watch as Nora Roberts’ Summer Pleasures is pitched. Thwunk. She sees me looking and says some stories are not compatible with Salvation Army principles.
Sex? I venture. Or just bad writing?
Sex, she says, her face screwed up in disgust.
How can you tell which ones have it?
She reads the back, she says, sometimes she has to read more, she just gets a feeling, god directs her to the steamy ones.
She seems to enjoy her work.
Note: do not look for this potboiler at your local Sally Ann.