Mum’s taken a ticket to see a man about getting us a new house so we’ve got to wait.
There’s a picture thing above the café. Someone had to sew that. Bet that was boring too.
“No it wasn’t.”
There are so many people here, so many bored faces. None of them are talking to me.
“Oi, kid! I said it wasn’t boring.”
“Who said that?”
Mum looks at me, “Said what?”
“That it wasn’t boring.”
She frowns and shrugs. “This is boring.” She turns back to her smartphone. She’s playing cards while she waits. That’s boring too.
“Boring people are always bored.”
This time I look up and see the face in the tapestry. The face is winking. It wasn’t winking before.
I frown at it like Mum frowned at me. I’d be bored standing up there all day.
I jump and blink. That face isn’t winking any more. It’s talking.
“Why not what love?”
I turn to Mum. “Nothing.” This is stupid. I cross my arms and glare at the floor. I am not talking to people made out of stitches. They’re just made out of threads.
I ignore the voice.
“People are threads, every person is just a collection of threads. Different strands that come together to make a person. Tell a story.”
I wish I’d brought a comic to read.
“What’s a comic?”
I keep my chin down but my eyes go up to that face again. It’s a story told in pictures.
“Am I a comic?”
“I’m a picture.”
Comics don’t talk to me.
“Don’t they? Maybe you aren’t listening.”
I’m not listening to you.
“Why not? You too bored to listen?”
I hate that tone. Mum gets that tone when she tells me to find something to do. There’s not even anything to watch here, no TV nor nothing.
“Everything is here.”
I ignore the face.
“All human existence is here. Look around you. See the guy behind the desk? In the dark blue jumper?”
I glance across. He looks boring.
“Well he’s not.”
I look again at the man. He’s average, a bit skinny, bland. Boring.
“He has a story. He works for the government.”
“Well, that’s the thing, it’s all very hush-hush.”
I sit up and look again. He’s just a bloke. Nothing special. You’d hardly notice him in the street.
I frown. What, exactly?
“Well you wouldn’t notice him would you?”
“Like he’s invisible.”
The Invisible Man.
“And how could that be useful?”
I chew on my lip and think. If people couldn’t see you, what couldn’t you do? If he worked for the government he could be a spy. No one would see him, he could go anywhere, see anything, get all the evidence he wanted. He could be a spy.
“What about her? What’s her story?”
I look up and the face is looking at the woman right beneath the tapestry. She is actually sitting in the café drinking from one of their cups. Mum always complains those cups have too small to hold handles. She’s wearing a black rain coat and reading the newspaper. She looks up and sees me watching. She doesn’t smile, no nod, nothing. Her skin is dark, her hair midnight. She looks foreign. She’s some foreign national, an international spy, a Fatal Female I think it’s called, a hired assassin.
This time I’m directed to a specky bloke, concentrating on the tiny laptop balanced on his knees. At least he’s got something to do. But why do it here? Maybe he’s trying to hack into the government’s computer systems, and where better to do that than in the council offices? He’s a Hacker.
The Invisible Man. The Fatal Female. The Hacker.
Wow. What’s going on? Why are they here?
The door swishes open, admitting a blast of frigid air and a tubby man in a suit with big muscle men either side, and heavy gold chain around his neck. The Boss and his Bodyguards.
The others are here for him. The Hacker wants to steal his secrets. The Fatal Female is here to kill him. The Invisible Man is his warning system. The Bodyguards his protection. I imagine she stands up, the Invisible Man slides across the desk, runs across the path of the Boss, he grabs the laptop, stops the Hacker stealing secrets as the Bodyguards take down the Female and whisk the Boss to safety.
“See,” the face points out, “there are stories everywhere, read them and you’ll never be bored.”
Mum stands up. “Come on, kid, our turn.”
“Can I wait here?”
She looks surprised. “Won’t you get bored?”
I can’t help smiling. There are too many stories here. “Never.”