"It's something about my life," she began — but just outside the bookstore window, bedlam reigned. I cupped a hand behind an ear. "Selling books was all," she said;
I caught that much, then the jackhammers resumed. Maybe they were re-setting the sewers. "... and to sleep," she said, during a lull. "The street is just four feet from my window."
I said I didn't think she lived here. "I don't! But they dug up my street at home, then they started here!" "You are a jackhammer magnet," I said. "It's something about my life," she repeated. She seemed to consider this seriously. Meanwhile the drums of war could have been no louder.
Water in her green-glass vase of wildflowers shimmied for half a minute. She bought a few old books from me, speaking mostly by signs, a written receipt. Her eyes followed me, longingly, out to my old clunker, an Eden by comparison. As I pulled away, the thundering resumed. And even the solidity of rock, I realized, shall have no dominion.