on the way home from the bakery

It is slightly earlier than it usually is, but I am balancing the bread on top of the newspaper in the same way that I always do.

The tram to the city is full. At this suburban stop, two men squeeze themselves on and a woman gets off. Her hair looks older than her face. She is not stooped, but bent in the middle as if the top of her body is too heavy for her legs. She carries a large lawyer’s bag, the type that has strong sides and stays square when you open it. It is black. Her skirt is the peasant type and white, her jacket is blue and has pleats.

She says, when our paths cross and I smile a paths-crossing smile, I’ve been out all night, which is a strange thing to say to someone you don’t know.

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