I'm going to start calling it "Atria Syndrome" on the days when I suffer from it. Today Sandy had asked me if I could come in early so she could get to an appointment. I was so intent on getting there in time for her that about 3/4 mile from home I realized I had forgotten my cell phone, then as we passed a field at UCD where they were setting up bouncy houses, I realized I had forgotten my camera and then I realized I hadn't brought the book that I record notes for "Today at Logos."
What was worse was that I forgot what time Sandy wanted me to relieve her and I was actually late. I gotta stop hanging around Atria (oh yeah, and I was going to take my mother her pills for next week to her after work and I forgot THAT too).
So anyway it was a quiet day. Sandy had a quiet morning and we did not have time to chat about it because, you know, I was late getting to work. Sheesh. There was one customer in the store when she left, a woman who was outside looking at bargain books when I arrived. I called her the "pink and blue lady" because she had unnaturally pinkish dyed hair (that was very thin) and a baby blue blouse which showed off her saggy boobs. She, like just about everybody else in the store today, was dressed in shorts which, in her case, allowed her daschund socks to show prominently. She went into the children's room and was sitting on the floor looking at books.
Shortly after, another woman, in a straw hat--and shorts--came in with two bargain books from outside. It appears the two women were together because they packed their books into the same bag, which lady #2 told pink and blue lady that she would have to carry home.
Two university looking young women came in. One spent her time looking through our sheet music (and buying sonatas by Chopin and Rachmaninoff). The other one seemed embarrassed to buy "Fifty Shades of Grey." She bought it for $4 and I told her she was lucky to get it at that price because it wasn't worth more than that. She said that she and her friend were more into "feminist erotica," but that she wanted to "see the other side."
Bruce came in, but just wandered around for a few minutes and then left. He was one of the very few customers today who was not wearing shorts (it was predicted to be 100 this afternoon), but just his usual all white ensemble, though today his homemade paper hat had a blue brim and seemed to be held together with masking tape. Or maybe WAS masking tape.
A guy came in wanting to see our "collectibles" and I directed him to the proper bookcase. He bought two books, one of which was called "Seed of the Land," written by Isabel Stuart Way in 1935. The interesting thing about the book was that it was autographed by the author to someone, thanking her for helping to get the book pubished, and there was an old newspaper clipping showing the author in a publicity event for the book. While I was more excited about that, the customer liked the book because it had its original dust jacket.
Someone brought in two bags of donation books, which weren't nearly as interesting as the children's book about recovery from satanic ritual sexual abuse that someone brought in last week.
A woman who looked like her ancestors might have come from some Polynesian island came in looking through conteporary fiction. She bought Quo Vadis, Exodus and another book about as thick as the first two. She said she had a friend in the hospital and these would help her pass the time while she was visiting her.
The next customer was an older guy with lime green shorts held up by blue suspenders, a light tan shirt over a plaid shirt, everything rumpled. He had a Roman nose, piercing eyes, large ears, and a goatee. He spent some time reading about the fundamentals of volleyball and then said he was looking for a book by Peter Pinkert (which must not be the right name because it doesn't show up on Amazon--but of course I couldn't find that out then because I'd left my phone at home!) Anyway, it was on the analysis of violence, but he couldn't find it and left.
His wife wanted to know if we had books on tape. She was carrying a bag from the Avid Reader, the "new" book store down the block, with something that looked to be the size of an audio book box, but maybe she was looking for used, thinking it would be cheaper.
A guy who resembled one of the guys in the new Fargo TV show, wearing an orange shirt, jeans and loafers checked out the literature section but didn't find anything. After he left the store, he glanced in the window and saw "Shakespeare's Restless World: a Portrait of an Era in Twenty Objects," by Neil MacGregor, which was one of the display books. He came back in and purchased that. I was kind of sorry I hadn't noticed it. On the heels of last week's book about Shakespeare by Bill Bryson, this might have been an interesting book to read.
But I was engrossed, instead in a book called "From Doon with Death" by Ruth Rendell instead. Rendell, the book jacket tells me, is the preeminent mystery writer. I enjoyed the book but would not rate it above some of the books by, say, David Baldacci or Michael Connelly. Maybe they are in a different category of "mystery" writers.
Bruce came back now and asked if he could write himself a note, which he did on the back of one of our bookmarks. He then, naturally, asked for a stapler, so he could staple it to the sleeve of his shirt. We were out of staples, so he filled the stapler for me. The bookmark at least gave a touch of color to his monochrome outfit!
Things were quiet for a very long time. The hour between 4 and 5 passed almost entirely without customers, not even "my friend," who now has been gone for two weeks.
Two laughing ladies in long dresses came in, laughing about their phones. They didn't buy anything but gave a jaunty wave on their way out.
A very tall African American young woman in the shortest shorts of the day, with a ball cap pulled low over her eyes arrived. She was not chatty, but bought three books: "Ritual and Seduction," "The Kite Runner," and "Tibetan Portraits," a purchase of $18.36, which may have been the most expensive of the day.
Antiquity guy, the guy who always checks our old books and who gets so excited about his finds came in. He always wears the kind of Irish cap we bought for Paul many years ago, in Ireland.
He was excited to find a filofax-like day planner filled with Paris maps.
My last customers of the day were what I assume were father and son. Dad was a tall muscular man with bulging biceps and a tattoo, shown off by the sleeveless shirt he wore. He was bald and wore his sunglasses on his head. Very gentlemanly and friendly guy. The son was college age, drinking from a water bottle and wanted directions to Vito's Pizza, which is across the street from Logos.
Susan came in early to relieve me, since I had come in early, but she can't seem to understand that I'm never sure what Walt is so I can't leave early because I have to wait for him to come.