The door to door salesman.
"I'm deaf," he tells me, "I can't find work. I do what I can."
I look, as I always look, trying to divine if this one is telling the truth and see that his face is young, and yet already aged in the way that the muscles are set, and his eyes tired and too pale, and when he asks me how my day has been, I don't tell him but say it has been fine.
Then he hands me a crumpled piece of card with the letters tumbling over it in infantile script and he stands while I look, trying to decide which item will not take up too much room in the cupboard already stuffed with brushes, rags and cleaning fluids.
A few seconds is too long. He shifts and grunts a noise that has the rising tones of a question, and I hurriedly select and pay for the demister. I don't need it, but as my husband would say, who has taught me to be generous, that's not the point.
"Are you cold?" I ask him as he zips his bag, but he doesn't read my lips. The deal is done now and his mind has drifted on to the next house. He shifts his right leg further away from his left and swings his bag back over his shoulder, then, regaining his balance, looks at me and thanks me so earnestly that I know the small object in my hand is not the thing that I've bought.