"Pam, the duty counterwoman at Sandusky's Groceries, thinks I'm a thief."
Thus ran the first line of John McCluskey's blog the next day. John itemised his days with descriptions of the interactions he had had with the townsfolk. Drifting during the day, working no more than he had to, he had noticed that Pam was not only reluctant to engage with him but also stared at him more than somewhat. He was reminded of the owner of a small supermarket in Highgate who once when he had gone in there looking for a bottle of water to sustain him on the long way across Hampstead Heath, had come and stood very close to him and pretended to arrange the bottles in the chiller cabinet. The next day a piece titled THE OWNER OF HANDY SUPERMARKET IN HIGHGATE THINKS LONE MEN ARE THIEVES appeared.
A child wearing a pair of fine antlers walked past. John looked up and smiled through the kitchen window at the retreating youngster in the street outside (the kitchen of course faced the street; in former times mums would have been in the kitchen and keeping an eye on their sprogs playing out). Then he looked back at his word processor and carried on. It was a bright morning and he would have rather been out running. When the piece was completed - and he hoped it wasn't too malicious but you had to say something about people in public service who treated people, especially solitary men, as pariahs - he published it, fought off the Blerch and headed out for a three-miler around his favourite lake side circuit.