old bookstores

STORY TIME:

I work in a decent sized, local, indie bookstore. It’s a great job 99% of the time and a lot of our customers are pretty neat people. Any who, middle of the day this little old lady comes up. She’s lovably kooky. She effuses how much she loves the store and how she wishes she could spend more time in it but her husband is waiting in the car (OH! I BETTER BUY HIM SOME CHOCOLATE!), she piles a bunch of art supplies on the counter and then stops and tells me how my bangs are beautiful and remind her of the ocean (“Wooooosh” she says, making a wave gesture with her hand)

Ok. I think to myself. Awesomely happy, weird little old ladies are my favorite kind of customer. They’re thrilled about everything and they’re comfortably bananas. I can have a good time with this one. So we chat and it’s nice.

Then this kid, who’s been up my counter a few times to gather his school textbooks, comes up in line behind her (we’re connected to a major university in the city so we have a lot of harried students pass through). She turns around to him and, out of nowhere, demands that he put his textbooks on the counter. He’s confused but she explains that she’s going to buy his textbooks.

He goes sheetrock white. He refuses and adamantly insists that she can’t do that. It’s like, $400 worth of textbooks. She, this tiny old woman, bodily takes them out of her hands, throws them on the counter and turns to me with a intense stare and tells me to put them on her bill. The kid at this point is practically in tears. He’s confused and shocked and grateful. Then she turns to him and says “you need chocolate.” She starts grabbing handfuls of chocolates and putting them in her pile.

He keeps asking her “why are you doing this?” She responds “Do you like Harry Potter?" and throws a copy of the new Cursed Child on the pile too.

Finally she’s done and I ring her up for a crazy amount of money. She pays and asks me to please give the kid a few bags for his stuff. While I’m bagging up her merchandise the kid hugs her. We’re both telling her how amazing she is and what an awesome thing she’s done. She turns to both of us and says probably one of the most profound, unscripted things I’ve ever had someone say:

"It’s important to be kind. You can’t know all the times that you’ve hurt people in tiny, significant ways. It’s easy to be cruel without meaning to be. There’s nothing you can do about that. But you can choose to be kind. Be kind.”

The kid thanks her again and leaves. I tell her again how awesome she is. She’s staring out the door after him and says to me: “My son is a homeless meth addict. I don’t know what I did. I see that boy and I see the man my son could have been if someone had chosen to be kind to him at just the right time.”

I’ve bagged up all her stuff and at this point am super awkward and feel like I should say something but I don’t know what. Then she turns to me and says: I wish I could have bangs like that but my darn hair is just too curly.“ And leaves.

And that is the story of the best customer I’ve ever had. Be kind to somebody today.

Aries is feeling a rush of energy after the long winter days. Aries is lighting fireworks, and Aries is almost burning the kitchen down with your friends and not being able to stop laughing. Aries is falling down and immediately standing up, Aries is standing up to bullies and doing spontanious roadtrips.

Taurus is waking up with a nice smell in your nose and the sun tickling you to wake. Taurus is finding new music, books, art you enjoy and humming to yourself while doing chores, singing loudly when home alone. Taurus is the satisfaction of having your hard work pay off, Taurus is hugging someone you love after a long time.

Gemini is stumbling across an old bookstore and losing yourself between the shelves. Gemini is throwing a mischievous smile at someone and obsessing over something for a day, then having a new obsession. Gemini is laughing about something unfunny and with that igniting it with humour, and Gemini is having 15 browser tabs open at 3am and having never felt as awake.

Cancer is having pets fall in love with you. Cancer is staying in on a rainy day with a good show, a cozy blanket and someone to snuggle up with by your side. Cancer is late night talks that go from laughing so hard you can’t breathe to philosophical and deep in a matter of seconds, and Cancer is the relief of plugging your headphones in after a stressful day.

Leo is going to your favourite band’s concert and having backstage tickets. Leo is receiving and giving the most wonderful compliments, and Leo is watching sunsets with someone to hold hands with. Leo is the proudness you feel after finishing a superb performance. Leo is the feeling of being on top of the world. 

Virgo is soft ‘good morning’s and whispered ‘sleep well’s. Virgo is the up-lifiting enjoyment of planning for a trip you’ve been looking forward to for a long time. Virgo is stretching in the morning and having detailed and highly challenging discussions, and Virgo is finding pretty flowers on the sidewalk, stopping to look at them in awe for a minute. 

Libra is putting make-up and pretty clothes on and feeling wonderful in your skin. Libra is making entertaining small-talk with new people, and Libra is the feeling of developing a new crush on someone. Libra is the satisfaction of being in an aesthetically pleasing environment. Libra is the sensation of having someone softly play with your hair and tracing your skin with their fingers.

Scorpio is taking a walk long after the sun has set. Scorpio is losing yourself in music, art, literature. Scorpio is feeling every emotion in a way you feel you’re flowing over - be it happiness or sorrow -, and Scorpio is looking the person you love in the eyes, forgetting time exists. Scorpio is feeling a fleeting connection to that one person that rushed past you in downtown. Scorpio is promises kept.

Sagittarius is looking up at the stars and being full of hope. Sagittarius is bonfire nights and spontaniously starting to run. Sagittarius is sitting by the fireplace thinking about everything all at once, and Sagittarius is climbing a tree and looking into the far horizon. Sagittarius is making bucket-lists, and Sagittarius is having deep conversations. Sagittarius is beginning to believe in yourself.

Capricorn is working towards where you know you will one day be. Capricorn is having black coffee in the morning and preparing yourself for the day, Capricorn is harvesting the fruits of all your hard work, and Capricorn is finding the person who can move your soul. Capricorn is resting when you need to and letting yourself recharge. Capricorn is the potential in everyone of us.

Aquarius is little giggles and the non-verbal communication between you and your best friends. Aquarius is talking about your favourite topic and searching for interesting things on the web. Aquarius is taking photos and collecting memories of your life, and Aquarius is your eyes widening in wonder. Aquarius is staying home with a good show. Aquarius is learning to be yourself.

Pisces is sleepovers with a friend and feeling a sense of calm. Pisces is finding yourself in inanimate things, and Pisces is puppies being excited to see you. Pisces is smiling and grinning from the bottom of your heart, Pisces is walking barefoot on grass and dipping your toes into water. Pisces is crying of sorrow with friends and screaming in ecstasy with them. Pisces is stilling the worries of your soul.

The Signs <3

Aries is feeling a rush of energy after the long winter days. Aries is lighting fireworks, and Aries is almost burning the kitchen down with your friends and not being able to stop laughing. Aries is falling down and immediately standing up, Aries is standing up to bullies and doing spontanious roadtrips.

Taurus is waking up with a nice smell in your nose and the sun tickling you to wake. Taurus is finding new music, books, art you enjoy and humming to yourself while doing chores, singing loudly when home alone. Taurus is the satisfaction of having your hard work pay off, Taurus is hugging someone you love after a long time.

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ravenclaw//feelings

  • Vellichor n. the strange wistfulness of used bookstores, which are somehow infused with the passage of time—filled with thousands of old books you’ll never have time to read, each of which is itself locked in its own era, bound and dated and papered over like an old room the author abandoned years ago, a hidden annex littered with thoughts left just as they were on the day they were captured.
I find beauty in old piano keys and fraying guitar strings; I find beauty in lonely forests and dark caves, in abandoned bookstores and dusty libraries; I find beauty in music that means something and in people who are passionate. I find beauty in things that make time stop for just a second.
—  The World Moves Too Fast Sometimes