Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Wintry Shop Girl
I'm relying on 1200 watts for my survival.
They come from a dusty halogen heater that glows at my knees.
I'm wearing so many layers I can't move.
Because I can't move, I'm getting even colder.
Outside it's snowing.
And there's not a customer in sight.
I'm wearing long, black, fingerless gloves which make me feel like a miser from a Charles Dickens'.
Or a robber.
Hunched over the counter, I count out my booty. Crystal beads for my mini suspension.
I'm making small chandeliers that fit directly over a bulb; potential sparkling presents for Christmas.
I've made three already and am enjoying the rhythm.
That said, there is a draft running through the building and I'm not sure how much longer I can go on.
I google the health benefits of being cold.
There are none, unless you are up to the neck in icy water. (No thanks)
I chain-drink hot tea.
Then more tea.
When I think I can take it no more, a young man comes in and says the magic words.
"Will you marry me?"
No, not those words.
The magic ones.
The only words that can warm me up right now.
"I'd like to buy your book."
And it's like a heater is turned on inside me and the feeling comes back to my fingers.
I find the pen that makes my signature look the best.
Black ink, thin point.
"What's your name?"
"Emil," he says.
"Oh!" I say, "like me, but a boy version!"
Yes, I have a way with words.
He leaves and I am happy.
I have 1200 watts and a kettle.
And if I get really cold again I can always click on the publisher's best seller list.
Seeing 'Shop Girl Diaries' right at the top warms me up every time.
Thanks so much to you all for buying it.
(You know who you are.)