There is not much I want, just a loaf of bread and something to put on it, and that’s soon done. I’m surprised at how unfilled my shopping baskets have become, how few things I need now I am alone. I suffer a sudden onset of meaningless melancholy and feel the eyes of the check-out lady on my forehead as I search for my money to pay, ‘the widower’ is what she sees, they do not understand anything and it is just as well.
“Here you are,” she says quietly in a voice soft as silk, as she gives me my change, and I say:
“Many thanks,” and I am on the verge of tears, for Christ’s sake, and go out quickly with my purchases in a bag and across to the filling station. I have been lucky. They do not understand a thing.
Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson