Earlier, Tirosh had stood in line at the self-same shop where he would later make an appearance, and where you would watch him speak. By then it was years and books later, and he had grown into a reclusive and difficult man, the sort who hid from most things and especially from himself. But that time, he stepped into the shop with genuine excitement. Most writers, I think, begin earnest, become bitter, and are at last resigned, and Tirosh was still in that first and fleeting stage, like the very first steps in a dance of courtship, even love.
He stepped into the shop, feeling as though every moment he would be discovered, pointed at, how shoppers, in revering tones, would whisper, ‘There, there he goes, Tirosh, Lior Tirosh, the author!’
But they were looking over some recent tome with dragons on the cover; and Tirosh was left alone to pursue the shelves, which were overflowing with bright paperbacks, and though he searched and searched he couldn’t find it. Then, at last, when he had almost given up, there it was, a single copy, sandwiched in between two other, bigger, brighter books than his. He pulled it free, cradling it, almost, like one would be holding a baby; but of course it was just a book. He held it with affection but also an air of puzzlement – was this it? Was that all? The world continued on its inexorable march. The Earth still spun, tilted on its axis; clouds formed, rain fell, trees grew, were fell, chopped, fed into machines which turned them into pulp and into paper, imprinted them with ink that bore strange, squiggly marks. What was it all for? Tirosh wondered. Eventually he put the book back down on the shelf, though he placed it face up, in pride of place. Then he ambled around for a while and then, with only one brief look back, he left the shop without buying anything.