Walt says he loves Thursdays because he knows that on Friday he can read "Today at Logos," which are his favorite entries, so here is another one, trying to make a more or less boring day interesting for Walt!
There was a guy sitting at the front table when I came in. His eyes brightened and he greeted me like he'd been waiting for me. I didn't recognize him. Susan was toward the back of the store and a guy, who I thought was the same guy from the front table was talking with her in French. I was embarrassed ...again... about the language. I understood most of what they were saying, but didn't have the nerve to actually open my mouth and say anything in French to him.
The Frenchman left and Susan told me it was author Max Byrd, who is on the faculty at UC Davis. Then Susan left and I was settling into the desk when the other guy, who wasn't the French guy at all, came over, sat in the chair by the desk, and settled in for a nice chat. That's when I remembered he was the long-winded guy from a couple of weeks ago, who sat here and talked for about half an hour, and when I had to ring up books, he talked to other customers, and then came back to talking to me.
Today he was telling me that he's a re-enactor, someone who recreates the experiences that others have written about. I know Civil War re-enactors are all the rage, but he says he doesn't do battles, rather he does travels over rough territory, following journals written by the original explorers. To tell the truth, I didn't follow most of what he said and zoned out completely when he started telling me all about guns and rifles. My notes on his half hour monologue this week are: "re-enactors, guns, book review, cartographer, mom 92." I was aching for him to leave. And he didn't even buy anything this time!
While he was talking, a guy who reminded me of Johnny Weir, who provided such color to the figure skating events at the Moscow Olympics was wandering around with a female friend. He was prettier than she was (and wore more jewelry). They left without making a purchase and my monologist was still prattling on about guns.
He finally did leave and I went searching for a book to read. I had decided that several people have raved about author Terry Pratchett and I was fairly certain we usually had several of his books, but when I went looking we didn't have any, so I went back to mysteries and chose another Ruth Rendell again.
A woman came in with a list of books for her 4th grade son. She was dressed in jeans and a blue top with an elegant lace-like pattern in the back. Her hair was in a ballerina-type bun and she had a beautiful silver necklace. She said she had come here rather than to the Avid Reader, which sells the new books, because the titles were all old...apparently she thought we had a better chance of finding a book by Dickens in a used book store than in a new book store.
A woman bought two contemporary fiction books and said she had to force herself to leave before she bought any more. We agreed that the book store is a bad source of temptation!
All the while I was dealing with these customers, I kept smelling tortillas and couldn't figure out why. Nobody had brought Mexican food into the store. Finally I smelled my brand new t-shirt (see Photo of the Day) and discovered that everywhere it smelled of tortillas. Guess it was made in a sweat shop in Mexico. (I threw it in the wash when I got home.)
A guy wearing a shirt from the Church of Scientology in Sacramento bought a coloring book of the human brain. It was a rather thick book. I wonder how much of the brain one can color!
A woman came in clutching a book on the history of theater in French. It's been on display and I've been staring at it for weeks, but Peter recently moved it outside and she was thrilled that she could buy it for $1.
A young man in khaki shorts with a grey t-shirt and a navy blue ball cap came in. He was wearing sandals and I noticed that the little toe on his left foot seemed to live in a world of its own, separate from the rest of the toes, not moving in synchronicity with them. When they went down, it raised up like a pinkie finger holding a dainty cup at a fancy tea. He never turned around so I could see if his right foot had a similar little toe.
He spent some time looking through the foreign books and finally bought a book in Spanish about Jews in Spain.
A woman who must be prematurely grey since she looked (and dressed) quite young, but had all grey hair in a messy pony tail. She was wearing a skimpy sundress and one arm was tattooed from the shoulder to the elbow. She didn't buy anything either.
Outside, two women walked buy walking four dogs, one had three and the other had one.
A guy with a messenger bag came in and started checking out sci fi and fantasy books, but the thing you couldn't avoid noticing about him was his nose. It was very large. Not quite Cyrano length, but definitely large enough that if he had been a drinker, I would have compared it to W.C. Fields, but it was just...large. He looked around for a long tie and ultimately bought three literature books, including "The Birds" by Aristophanes, which I thought was odd because I had just been thinking of that story last week--I don't remember why.
The women with dogs walked by outside in the opposite direction.
A young woman wearing a brown UPS-colored ball cap, a blue t-shirt with a white chemise over it which had what looked like an x-ray of human ribs painted on it. She was very friendly and said a cheery hello.
My friend came at 4:30 and we discussed the weather today (hot) and predicted for the weekend (hotter) and the new bag policy for the store. He bought a book on globes and maps.
A woman who reminded me of Jeri's godmother, also Jeri, came in with two bargain books. She asked if we had a section on American authors. I told her we did not. She then wanted to know where our poetry books were and I showed her. She kept talking to me, but I couldn't hear her. She didn't seem very friendly, but she sat down where the long-winded buy had sat and asked for a restaurant recommendation. I gave her the name of three nearby and then we started talking recipes. She was intrigued by my recent success with the roasted chicken.
Two girls bought two Nancy Drew mysteries and asked if we had more. I was shocked to discover there were only two on the shelves. We've had about 30 in the children's room for almost as long as I've worked at Logos, but Peter told me that someone came in and bought them all, and the two that the girls bought were new donations.
|Day 25: Happiness is a new t-shirt |
(even if it does smell of tortillas!)