I'm trying to make up my mind between fake tan for 'fair to medium' skin or 'medium to dark' skin when the door of the Harmony Row Pharmacy bursts open and a woman in denim barrells in at speed. She is talking very loudly to all within earshot.
"Wait till ye hear whit he done this mornin' . . yes'll never believe this wan . . . wait till ye hear it."
It comes over as a state of false frenzy, like when you're telling lies to someone you're frightened of and you start talking in a crazy voice at high speed.
The assistant stands at the counter and gazes at her blankly.
"See him," the customer continues, "'E's pyoor schoopit so 'e is. He jumps up at hauf five this mornin an 'es like, 'hurry up an get up. Wur gonny miss wur meth', an ah'm trying tae stagger oot ma bed an then ah looks oot an' it's still dark an' ah'm like, it's the middle i the night you. Shut up an' he's like . . "
She breaks off as a pharmacist comes from the back shop and goes into a little booth at the end of the counter. It's a white screen and the woman goes behind it and I suppose this is the point where she is given her dose of methadone for the day.
Then she starts talking again.
"Sorry aboot that, sorry fur bein' late . . it was his fault. Eedjit. 'E was hauf cut las' night. Nae wunner, 'e wis pyoor hauf cut . . 'e's oot therr wi the dugs the noo. 'E'll be in in a minute. You shoulda seen'm". She starts laughing raucously, "'E wis even puttin oan ma shorts this mornin'. it wis a pyoor panic."
The pharmacist laughs a bit and this encourages the woman,
"Aye," she starts telling all the shop as she emerges from behind the screen, "Ye shoulda seen'm, hid ma shorts oan. Ah better go an' get'm and ah'll take the dugs."
I look out through the glass door and see the man holding two chunky wee dogs. He's impatient and scowling and when he passes the leads to her, they get fankled round her legs.
In the meantime a short queue has formed for the methadone booth and when she leaves a young man goes in. A tall man of about 40 waits, head bent, downcast and weary.
This distraction isn't helping me to make up my mind, but now I set to thinking and choose 'fair to medium', as it's still cold and rainy outside and it might look strange if I suddenly turn a dark shade of brown.
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