There’s the boy who looks like the father that he always works beside. He refills the £1 fruit baskets and rearranges the vegetables in ordered rows of colours. Tomatoes are red, onions are caramel, cabbage is green. His father handles the dealings, handles the money, handles the conversation, handles the boy. And the boy works silently beside him. He’s the help in the family business that he’s tied to for as long as his father runs it.
The other day I bought a £1 bowl of pears that were as long as bananas and the boy was no where to be seen. It was just the father dealing with the dealings and I pushed my fruit basket towards him.
“Just this please”, I spoke
“That’ll be £1 love”. And so I handed over the money.
Then the father whistled a high, tight-lipped whistle. Around from the corner the boy appeared, with a box of supplies in hand.
But today as I went, the father was nowhere to be seen and the boy was closing up market for the day. I reached for a basket of £1 grapes and he placed them in a plastic bag for me. I handed him a golden pound and he gave me smile in return. Expression!
“Have a nice day love”, he says.
And the boy becomes a man.