Monday, November 26, 2007
Timely Reminder

I was having an off morning. I was a little hormonal and my enthusiasm was low. Not having a bad day, really -- just kind of meh. As soon as I got to work, we suffered an epic two-hour rush at Fnorders; there'd been a big coupon sent out the night before, and now everyone in downtown was trying to cash in over their lunch hour. They were all crabby and high-maintenance. And no matter how much backup we called for or how fast we rang people up, the line never seemed to get any shorter -- they just. kept. coming.

(Incidentally, just so you know: yes, we offer free gift-wrapping. Yes, if you ask, we'll actually do it. Yes, I'll try to do a nice job of it, time permitting. But yes, if you actually ask us to do it, we will curse you under our breath and think evil thoughts about you for the rest of the day. FYI.)

Once the rush was over, I was left feeling weary and discontented. I still had four hours on my shift, but I was tired of dealing with people. I found myself wondering whether everything I was doing was ever going to pay off, wishing I could have some little sign to encourage me on a moody, gloomy day.

Anyway, to make a long story short:



He just sort of showed up and started signing books. The only people who knew he was in the store were employees (and a couple of hipster patrons the employees clued in), so he signed some specially for us. He was incredibly friendly and chatty and seemed happy to be making everyone else happy -- he asked why I'd chosen Fugitives and Refugees to have signed, and when I explained my choice, he welcomed me to Portland and said he was glad that his book had helped draw me here. He hung around for about 45 minutes signing every single one of his books we had in stock, and then went on his way. I chose this one because it has some sentimental value to me by now -- it's sort of the hoary old Portland standby, but it was one of the things that convinced me that Portland was a good place for me to be, and today was a good day to be reminded.

Thanks, Chuck. And thanks, Portland -- I love you, too.

PS: Continuing with the birthday-addendum theme, happy birthday to Diana! She moved to the northwest from Memphis a couple of years before I did, and now that we're practically neighbors (ignoring that we have the whole of Washington between us), I'm hopeful that we'll be able to make good on our abstract plans to meet up sooner or later. It's been much too long since I last saw her, and we have a huge amount of catching up to do. Everybody say happy birthday to Diana!
10:48 PM ::
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