friend twenty-three.

October 3, 2011 at 11:27 pm Leave a comment

“why don’t you sell white sage?” a customer at the independent used bookstore in the mission that i used to work at asked.

“um… well, i’m not sure,” i stumbled.

after they left, i realized the real answer to that question is friend twenty-three, “alvin orloff.” friend twenty-three, alvin, is the manager of that shop, and one of the prime reasons for why that store will never sell white sage. a low tolerance for all things woowoo matched with a deep love of all things literary and intellectual makes the idea of friend twenty-three integrating white sage into the shop’s inventory ludicrous.

one of my flaws as an employee is my tendency to chatter. this can be compounded by the way that friend twenty-three’s sassy & kitschy aesthetic represents something i’d like to achieve some day, and i had a mix between a desire to impress and a fear of appearing too “all about eve.” i was always doing ridiculous things to try to seem supersmart, hip, and fun, like writing messages in the staff book in code. and he tended to be pretty tolerant of it all.

his deep place within the sf literary scene is not something i’ve exactly coveted, but it’s definitely impressive. & one of the things that was great about working for him at the bookstore was how he makes people who work at the bookstore feel like part of the intelligentsia of san francisco. that was a really fun part of that job and i miss it. that, and talking with friend twenty-three about kitten wigs, herb alpert, and countercultural critiques.

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friend twenty-five. friend twenty-six.

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