Sandy and I had a rather lengthy post-mortem on the election and how we are feeling these days, but nobody else who came into the store all day said a word. I thought this piece, written by Kande Hooten, said it beautifully...
Eight years ago, the economy was in the toilet and I had recently been laid off. The day after Obama was elected, I was at the Metro station. Never, after an election, have I seen such joy and optimism. People were smiling at each other and marveling with strangers about what the election meant for the country.I don't know if the slow day was any indication of post-election malaise. I had a better afternoon than Sandy had morning, but it still was pretty slow.
Contrast with this past Tuesday. While taking Metro to work, people kept to themselves. There were no smiles, only looks of shock and disbelief.
My first customer had two cute little Silky dogs on a leash and he came in to pay for a bargain book, and also to report that there was a disreputable man outside who threatened to kill him when he told him he was not supposed to be smoking that close to a store. We watched him out the window and I asked if he thought I should call the police. We decided I would not, but the customer hung out in the store for awhile until he felt safe going to his car. The disreputable man moved on shortly after that.
A woman came in looking for "The 100-year old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared," which I had not heard of, though Amazon tells me is "the international publishing sensation--over six million copies sold worldwide!" We didn't have it, so she left quickly.
A woman bought a book on Spanish art. This was a big art book day, apparently.
A couple came in, with their cups of ice cream and ate and browsed for a long time before leaving without making a purchase. The woman did leave at one point t o find a garbage can outside into which to throw their cups.
A woman all in black came in. I thought she was wearing a beret until I got a better look at he hair and discovered it was just the hair somehow bunched into a form that looked like a hat. She looked around for awhile before leaving without buying anything.
When guys looking like professional business men come in, they stand out from the Bermuda shorts wearing, sandals wearing, back-pack sporting men who make up the bulk of our male clientele, so I noticed this guy who came in, very neatly pressed with a blue business shirt and no jacket, shiny shoes. He browsed, but did not buy.
Nor did the next guy wearing olive green shorts, and a baseball cap, carrying a backpack.
Only a handful of customers so far and it was already 4:07 when both my friend and the Antiquarian came in. The latter left quickly, not finding anything that interested him. My friend bought a book on hand weaving and a mystery. I wondered if he would say anything about the election, but e did not
A short woman who greeted me like a long lost friend (though I had never seen her before) was very sparkly as she wandered the stacks, making comments now and then. She wore her hair in a French twist, but it was quite messy. She wandered around with arms crossed most of the time. She was happy when she found a book by B. Traven, an author she had just heard of the day before when someone recommended "The Rebellion of the Hanged," which we had. Traven is best known for "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" and was apparently so little known that when he wandered onto the set while they were filming that movie, they threw him out because nobody knew who he was.
A woman bought three art-related books, and a guy bought a book on the Prado.
A guy with communication problems was trying to find out if he could put books on lay-away, but couldn't seem to find the words. He muttered nonstop and did mention Trump, but only in passing, as if he were talking to himself. He left when I told him we didn't do lay-aways and also informed him that we would be closing in January. He tried to convince me that it was a bad time of year to quit and that we should stay open until June.
I was sorry Susan didn't come in because she would have had a lot to say about the election, but it was just Peter, who had nothing to say.
Walt came in and we were on the horns of a dilemma. I was reviewing The Trojan Women at the university. it started at 7, so it was too late to go home, but too early to go to the theater. I was bone weary I ached everywhere especially my back, and just wanted to sleep, so we parked in the parking lot and I napped for about 25 minutes. I must have looked very bad when hobbling to the car because some guys stopped to ask if I was all right. I was so out of it I didn't even realize they had done that until Walt told me what they wanted.
We hadn't had dinner and at 9:30, I certainly didn't feel like cooking dinner, so we went to Safeway. I got a salad, Walt got some beef stroganoff soup and we stocked up on our nightly Haagen Dazs bars for dessert.
When we got home, I just collapsed into the recliner, where I didn't hurt any more, and didn't move--not even to check mail in my office. I woke up rested and without pain which was very nice. I don't know why I was in such pain yesterday, but am glad it was a short-lived attack.