The first customer of the day asks me where the book he has ordered is. I tell him it has not yet arrived. It has only been a day since the order was placed. He is furious, he yells, repeatedly points at me, yells some more. “You are my target,” he shouts. “You are my target.”
A customer asks if we have a novel by Vernon Little – something about a dog? I ask if possibly she means a book called Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre. She is adamant that is not it. It is by a man called Vernon Little. It’s about a dog. Could it be The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time? I ask – knowing how unlikely that is. No. My colleague goes to the shelf and brings Vernon God Little over to the counter. That’s the one she says. No thanks, no apology.
A man is dragging his toddler down the stairs.
“Deal with it,” he says. “Get over it. That’s life.”
A woman asks for a book that may help her understand why three of her kids have attempted suicide. I don’t think there’s a book in the world that can do that. I recommend contacting CAMHS or MIND. She asks me if I can meet her for coffee as I’m the first person who has shown her any kind of understanding.
A young, beautiful couple come in and ask if we have a biography on a particular British actor. The man tells me he is a huge fan of the actor in question. I notice how he dresses like him and has similar stubble. Yes, a new biography is available and we have a copy on our third floor. The couple are elated. The man punches the air.
“I knew it,” he says. “I dreamt this would happen.”
“He does that,” his girlfriend says. “He has dreams that come true.”