Re: Tandy/Alex: the comic book store
[Tandy was familiar with dealers. The middle-class kind, that showed up with clean shoes and a pocket full of pills and looked like somebody's dad. He was familiar with the other kinds too, but the particular ones that Tandy liked least were the ones that dealt sorrow and hope, rolled out what-could-be-if with the ease of any snake oil salesman. The comic books weren't Tandy's niche. He'd come to them late, looking for a hide-out, the familiarity of something his dad had liked enough to try to pass it along, like a genetic predisposition or an allele for blue eyes.
He looked at Alex, who looked like perhaps this had been the agreed upon arrangement. Tandy remembered no such conversation. Money was a big deal to the kid who had gone from a lot, to nothing, in the way most finite resources were monitored and hoarded. Tandy didn't take often. Taking was a lot like charity, and charity was something that Tandy had learned early that his mom disdained and that society considered tantamount to admitting you couldn't cope. Tandy didn't show a lot of the inner murk that the paid bill roiled up but there was something sifting underneath his surface]
No. He didn't. There's a mistake. [Because the comics weren't twenty bucks to cover a meal when he had nothing in his pocket and Tandy tracked every cent. It wasn't Holly, who he'd asked. A stack of comics was a significant outlay, even if it was comparatively insignificant. It didn't matter. Pride was cheap. It didn't cost anything and Tandy looked a little more rigid.]