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This article is taken from PN Review 60, Volume 14 Number 4, March - April 1988.

Looking Daniel Weissbort

The little boy is eight. Eight years and two - nearly three - days. He is wearing a new Harris Tweed coat, with matching cap. It is very light brown and has pale-blue flecks in it. He is going to have his photo taken.

His mother and he climb on board a bus. He would like to go upstairs, to the top deck, but she wants to sit down below. Downstairs you don't see so well. It is dark and you are too close to see what everything is, what's going on. Upstairs you look down at things, there's lots of light. Also, it is cosier upstairs, it makes him happy. So why must she sit downstairs? She always does. It's what grown-ups do. Perhaps she doesn't even known there is an upstairs. No, that's not possible. He always tells her and tries to make her follow him up. So maybe it's that she doesn't dare. Or maybe she knows something he doesn't. And to make things worse, they are sitting on the side which overlooks the road not the pavement, so that though he is by the window, all he can see when he stretches his neck and looks out is the tops of cars and hardly anything else, except a few blurry shapes between the cars on the other side of the street.

But now they are settling in and even if it is like being shut up inside a box, or under ...


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