Winter coughs necessitate an early evening visit to the Harmony Row Pharmacy. I reach the doorway at the same time as a woman, forty-ish, tomboy-ish, gallus with a white gauze square taped onto her forehead. I hold the door open for her and we walk inside to the warm, medicinally scented air of the Chemists.
Two teenage girls are sitting on a seat in the middle of the floor. They are shifting about, crossing and uncrossing their legs, leaning forward, stretching back, examining phones.
A woman is popping in and out of the white cubicle which has been erected for privacy from prying eyes and ears. Her wee boy, sooking a lolly, is calmly watching her dashing around.
A sign on the cubicle says,
"Only One Person In The Box At A Time".
I have to wait for a prescription.
The woman seems to decide that she is finished with the box for now.
"Ach, listen, Ah'll just come back," she says and the teens look up lazily and one of them says,
"We'll see ye later then."
"'Mon you," and with a scooping motion she ushers the wee boy out of the door.
As she goes out, a young lady comes in and sidles up to the gallus woman with the bandaged heid.
The young lady is neatly dressed in black trousers and high heels with plenty of feminine touches, like giant hoop earrings and a handbag. Standing close, the girl whispers a long tale and when the woman answers, the girl blurts out, in an exasperated whisper, "Shhhhsht Maw, gonnae leave it."
They approach the counter and the young lady tells the sales assistant that she's got a rash and the assistant - who is a mumsy, comfortable lady - says to hold on a minute and she'll get the pharmacist.
A coupla minutes pass before a blonde ponytailed girl breezes down to the counter.
"So, what seems to be the problem?" she asks in loud, disinterested Newton Mearnsy tones.
The young lady and her maw move as close to the counter as they can.
The young lady explains about the rash.
The pharmacist asks to see it.
The young lady pulls up her top to show her midriff and pulls down her collar to show her neck.
This is awkward.
I'm glad when the sales assistant calls on me to pick up the prescription.
They could be doing with the Box.