Posts tagged ‘books’
i went to a college full of brilliant people, but man, those who studied science were always the smartest. friend twenty-six, amanda d., is one of those extra-smart science folks who’s kept studying and learning and being smart.
the beginning of our friendship was pretty awkward. she was good friends with and then roommates with a girl i was in love with and dated in college. due to shyness, awkwardness, and miscommunication all around, we didn’t have a fabulously good start. but eventually she became friends with others in my circle and things started to get a lot better. she has great senses of humor, style, and fun, and we share a love of young adult lit, so that’s fun, too. she’s one of the amazing, lucky people who’s been married at our college, which is a stunning magical location. at college i always admired her faith and wished i was brave enough to have the deep conversations about it that i wanted to.
but most importantly, she’s a dancing queen.
“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.
i’m not sure who started it. but at one point, i was living one of my dreams with friend twenty, who i will refer to here as alison r. the dream was the dream of random packages of things being dropped off at each other’s door. it only lasted a minute, but in that minute i became a proud owner of a padded manila envelope filled with a chair wheel, stickers for macheezmo burritos, a tiny notepad and matching pencil, and other treasures, that had appeared at my doorway after the sound of running feet and a car door slam. in my dream world, i would interact with everyone in this way.
we were both part of a crew of young people doing service for even younger people in olympia, washington. neither of us had done much of it before and our tales were about epic screwups and hilarity ensuing.
it is the middle of the night when i write this and i think it’s a little choppy. and it’s embarrassing, just a little bit, because i also associate friend twenty with literature. during a dark time (literally, because it was olympia and those winters are fuuuuuun-ky, and emotionally), she loaned me a sark book to remind me of ways to get through. and during a training that she co-led, she brought us through a visioning sort of exercise using calvino’s if on a winter’s night a traveler.
she’s a good one– a smart one, a goofy one, a sincere one, one with a giant smile and saddish eyes, and one who cares a whole awful lot.