Oppressive Nights

Andrej was telling me about the sky in Sydney. We were in the Queen Victoria Market, and he was leaning against one of the trestle tables in my stall, smoothing his eyebrows as he spoke. High above us the ironwork of J Shed kept the metal roof in place. Andrej’s stall was across the aisle, piles of goods made with kangaroo leather. Jackets, wallets, skirts, handbags, belts. He’d left his stall unattended to come talk to me. I sell soaps and beauty products sourced from Australian ingredients. A lot of things you find in this market, when they’re not cheap imported toys and basketball jerseys and woolen socks, are luxury goods with a local twist, like the kangaroo leather. Andrej carries his money in a large bum bag around his waist so there was nothing of value for him to turn his back on, unless you count the leather.

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