It’s been five hours, and my shoes are at war with my feet. They are nice enough shoes but the old wooden floor is stubbornly rigid and cares little for the comfort of the staff who have to stand on it for hours at a time.
I re-plaster my smile as someone approaches the desk. The walk straight from the front door to the desk: there are only ever two kinds of customers who do that; ones who know exactly what they want, and ones who have absolutely no clue. I doesn’t take much to guess which one this person falls into.
“I’m looking for a book.” He says, casually forgetting the social protocol that instructs one person to greet another before they talk.
“A book?” I say. This is a bookshop, I think.
“Yes, a book.” He says again, as if by saying it clearer the second time would make me suddenly realise the exact, perfect book that was in his mind.
“Yes.” Oh, good. It’s not as if specificity requires details.
“Do you know the name of it?”
“No.” That’s ok, titles can be hard.
“No.” Alright, a bit more difficult then.
“Do you remember the genre?”
“It was fiction, if that helps.” Amazingly, it doesn’t.
“Was it sci-fi, fantasy, history…”
“It was set in France.”
“France?” Well, that narrows it down from all of fiction.
“Yes. Or they went to France.”
“So, it might not have been set in France?”
“No. But there was definitely talking about France at some point.”
“Actually, it might have been Italy.”
This was going to be a long day…
– Heather Caldwell
[19/2/17: Facetious, Picture – Bookshop]