We have been running this republic for a little over five years and have happily sold a whole bunch of books in the short time that we have been around. In the beginning we had issues with actually putting up a lot of books that well, we were attached to or were attached to us. It was hard, sacrifices had been made. Many memories, many customers, many associations, a few lovers all frozen in time. Every once in awhile though you get a blast from the past.
Last week one of our suppliers landed up at the store with a lot of book, happy times buying books – and we do it everyday.
A book stood out, hardback, covered.
I look at the cover.
A familiar face.
I smile running my fore finger lovingly down her deckled edge.
I open the book, take a deep whiff, so intoxicating.
Close the book look at its rear end, it has our tag.
Freeze frame, we had this book four years ago and I remember the customer who bought the book.
I buy the book along with a bunch of others.
While tagging the books, I come across a book of poems inscribed for the customer.
I ask the supplier where he got the books, he is a little reluctant.
I tell him I am not going to judge him or go after his source.
I wonder what has happened to this customer.
Where is she right now.
Has she left her neighbourhood? The city ? This continent ?
Is she dearly departed?
From what I remember an image of getting books from this woman would be trying to pry a witches stash of dried toad nuts from her dying fingers.
Or maybe someone from your past walked into the store with the sole intention of biting you in our arse.
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