He wanders in wounded and expects me to help him just because it’s my job. I know what he is, he knows I know. I don’t care. The tag says he has eighty four years left of a hundred year sentence for sex crimes. If he lasts out the sentence they’ll remove the tag. He might not survive that long. I don’t care. He wants pain relief for the wounds received when people see what he is. Some people think the old way is better, let him live in free accommodation eating catered food while the rest of us pay our way. Not me, he should make a living and as best he can amends for his crimes. If you can survive a long sentence with that tag then I’d say you’ve earned your freedom. People will still know but they’ll also know what you’ve been through. I had a tag once for shoplifting, two years. I couldn’t get in anywhere and even my family looked at me with distrust. It worked I’d say, I’ll never steal again.
He wants the anti-septic that hurts less. He can see it on the shelf behind me but I tell him we’re all out and hand him the other bottle. The ointment stings infinitely more than the cream despite being more effective, I play up how well it works. I hope he winces every time he applies it.
A woman comes to the door and sees him, she slows and hovers. I tell her to come in as he hands me the money and leaves. The glowing tag fades when he’s a couple of meters out of the door. The woman starts talking about all of the tags walking about. It’s quite common I guess but most of them are temporary. I let the shoplifters in here, they know I’m watching them. The violent crime tags scare me the most. I can see a vandalism tag glowing faintly through the wall round back. I ask the woman to pay quickly so I can check that there’s not some kid painting his name over my garden wall.
I turns out my cousin has his own tag now for kicking a car when he was drunk. He’s just smoking.