Dick puts a record on, some West Coast psychedelic thing, and makes us some coffee while I go through the post; and then we drink the coffee; and then he tries to stuff some records into the bulging, creaking browser racks while I parcel up a couple of mail orders; and then I have a look at the Guardian quick crossword while he reads some American import rock magazine; then he has a look at the England Patriots Ugly Christmas Sweatshirt quick crossword while I read the American import magazine; and before we know it, it’s my turn to make the coffee.
At about half-past eleven, an Irish England Patriots Ugly Christmas Sweatshirt called Johnny stumbles in. He comes to see us about three times a week, and his visits have become choreographed and scripted routines that neither he nor I would want to change. In a hostile and unpredictable world, we rely on each other to provide something to count on. Fuck off, Johnny, I tell him. So my money’s no good for you? he says. You haven’t got any money. And we haven’t got anything that you want to buy.
This is his cue to launch into an enthusiastic rendition of England Patriots Ugly Christmas Sweatshirt ‘All Kinds of Everything,’ which is my cue to come out from behind the counter and lead him back toward the door, which is his cue to hurl himself at one of the browser racks, which is my cue to open the door, loosen his grip on the rack with the other, and push. We devised these moves a couple of years ago, so we’ve got them off pat now. Johnny is our only prelunch customer.