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5 September, 2014
The shop was bustling today when I arrived. I entered right after "Eliza," who was, for once, without the quilted parka she always wears, so her tangled hair was hanging down her back. Her bare feet were filthy and there was dirt on her face and hands. Again, I just wanted to bring her home, give her a bath and a good meal. She wanted a book from outside and asked Sandy if she could hold it for her until the end of the day, by which time she would have $1. She gave her name as "Rain," but I think I'll still call her Eliza because that's how I think of her.
There were two other customers waiting for service, so Sandy didn't hang around and I settled in, turned the fan on, and started ringing up orders.
A pock marked young man asked if we had a book about the history of Alcoholics Anonymous, which I was pretty sure we did not. He didn't buy anything, nor did his girlfriend, who was wearing an apron from the Sizzler, which is odd because there is no Sizzler in Davis.
A picked up a Ruth Rendell book to read and was taken immediately by the second paragraph. I wish I could write like that.
A tall man wearing black and carrying the now familiar reusable bag under his arm (his was from Trader Joe's) entered. You see people all over town with bags under their arms ever since the city enacted the "no bag" law for businesses. He chose a very thick book about Mythology from the Fantasy section and took it to the table to read, which he did for a long time, eventually putting it back and leaving without buying anything.
A young man who was either in high school, or lower grades at UCD came in to ask if we had "The Idiot" "...by Dos-something." I directed him to Dostoyevsky, but apparently we didn't have that particular book and he left without making a purchase.
As he left, the "tan girl" walked in. Seriously She had tan hair, a tan complexion, tan boots, a tan skirt and a tan sweater. She didn't buy a tan book, but just left.
A women bought two travel books, including "Gutsy Women Traveling, II," which was the sequel to a book I read a year or so ago. I told her she would enjoy it.
A guy came in with a bag of donations. He and his wife together bought a bargain book, a book of contempoarary fiction, and a history book. The bargain book was "Seabiscuit," which I told her I loved and shared that Seabiscuit's owner lived across the street from us in San Francisco when I was growing up.
A woman who looked too old for the tailored Levi shorts she was wearing had dyed red hair and her sneakers looked much too big for her feet, at the end of her skinny bare legs. She looked around for a long time, but than left without buying anything.
Six people entered at the same time. I think there were 3 together, 2 together, and a singleton. The two were a mother and daughter. The daughter appeared to be in a dance practice outfit, with full, short skirt and white top.
She sat on the floor and went through all the books we had in French and finally bought a short novel.
At 3:45 there was another rush of customers and from where I sat at the desk, I could see five customers with more hidden behind the shelves. It was the most customers I had at one time in two weeks.
My friend finally came in, after 2 weeks, at 4:09. He had been in Ashland, he told me, and told me about the plays he had seen, most of which he liked very much. He bought a book of "Dr. Who" and a bargain book that I forgot to look at.
A very tall bald guy with a Southern accent asked if we kept our bibles in the same section, but then on his way to the shelves, he got a cell phone call and ultimately left without buying anything. His wife had decided she was going to "try" a Jodi Picoult, but ultimately she didn't buy anything either.
My favorite part of the day was when a mom and two little blonde girls came in. I pointed them to the kids' room and there were squeals of delight as they discovered they had their own special room. The older girl (who told me she was 4, but I suspect she was closer to 5) asked if we had a bathroom, which we really don't for the public, but I knew I would lose them if I said so, so I let them use the bathroom. Then they went back to the kids' room and there were occasional giggles and jabbering. The 4 year old (who reminded me so much of Bri), not only in appearance but in the questions she asked, chose a Nancy Drew mystery. The mom said the girls could each buy 4 books and the older one carefully chose "chapter books" that her Mom could read to her. The little one loved running around the store, laughing. The Dad joined them, a very tall man who helped them choose the four they wanted from the pile they had collected. When they left (after a nearly $25 purchase), I felt all warm inside. I just love it when little kids love books.
Two girls came in to buy a bargain book. One was almost wearing a skirt (it was very, very short) and abig "Amazing Spiderman" shirt
Another girl asked me which came first, "Tom Sawyer" or "Huckleberry Finn," and I told her Tom was first, so she bought a copy of that.
My last customer bought the Mythology book that the guy had looked at earlier in the day.
Susan came in early and we spent some time deciding when and where to meet Char for lunch (it's SO much easier to coordinate with text messaging) and decided to get together next week at a restaurant called "Dead Fish" in Crockett, sorta halfway between here and where Char lives. I later checked the menu on line and see that they have lots of crab options!
Walt came in and we told Susan goodbye and headed home.
Photo of the Day
Day 67: Not the greatest picture, but the thing that made me
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