The croc tour went bad before it began. The bus, a white charter with mirrors that curved from its roof like antennae, gave a pneumatic hiss and snapped its door shut, biting into a pink-skinned boy in a Spiderman cap. The boy was yelling and thrashing.
Brad sat at the bar. To the right of him was a large picture window. Through the window he could see people walking by on the city street; it was the end of the day, and the people were mostly office workers, going to their evening commute home.
I stared at his photo on the cover of his book. I remembered the mental health ads he’d starred in. Filmed at the beach, staring into rock pools at the myriads of tiny watery lives. Silent, immovable starfish and glassy red anemones plopping open.
The smell of new stationery was in the air. The extreme dryness of refill pads and exercise books. The graphite of pencils and tang of ink. Katy had left the room to get some scissors so she could cut sticky back plastic and cover her exercise books.