Perhaps it was the variety of creatures one could find there, or maybe it was simply the comforting hum of the unhurried bustle. Upstairs children tugged their mothers coats, pleading for this or that, holding some picture book or comic in their hands. Across from them, tables were hidden between the shelves with college students craning over themselves in strange angles, their hands flying across the page. They slaved away for the whole day with stacks of books beside them: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, biography, cooking, religion, philosophy, you name it– it sat patiently beside them, not even begging for attention. Just the fact that they had been selected from the shelf was enough. Downstairs, where I sat now, the cafe murmured with a gentle pace. Whatever it was about this place, the bookstore always housed my favorite models.
Beside me, in a table for two, a man slammed his stack of books down. He wore all black, topped even with a black beanie, a laptop bag draped from his shoulder. He mumbled an apology to no one in particular and neatened his stack of books, ordering them by size: The Owl Service, Almost Transparent Blue, Man Box. My hands searched idly for the surface of the paper.
He pulled his laptop out of his bag, clearing his throat as he opened it. I glanced over at him, a gasp nearly dropping from my lips as I recognized him. Kim Namjoon. Otherwise known as Rap Monster, but in my head, he was just Joonie. I tucked my strands of my hair behind my ear, hoping that if he looked this way he might at least go home remembering the cute girl who sat next to him at the bookstore cafe.
I recently exhibited some of my work at Art in Action in Oxfordshire. The main deal of AIA is that you have to demonstrate your craft whilst you are there, so this is one of the things I drew whilst the show was on.