I’m working in a bookstore now, the local one up the hill. The one I visit when I need to see people, when my office gets lonely, my home emptied out of my family.
My husband’s been saying for years that I should work in a bookstore, that it will soothe my social needs.
Something in me sings when I’m in the bookstore, surrounded by layers of words as the women in the salon next door talk and talk. At times, their voices reach a crescendo and it sounds like they are all singing in a choir. Which they are: they are singing in their own choir, lit by self-care and companionship.
I wonder what stories are mine to tell, as I stand in the bookstore. Only mine, even though the customers stories spill into my ears. Their dogs come in. Their yearning for connection. Our cells mingle and collide. We talk, or we hardly talk at all.
I am fed as I stand in the bookstore. I am continually reminded that I came for connection and what feeds me doesn’t match up to what others need. What the world’s norms tell me to want.
OK, part of me wants it: a world that pays me a ton of money for my skills. Still I persist. I stand at my new job and marvel at how it meets my needs. I sit in my office and interview people for my old job, again marveling at getting to write about what I care about. I teach writing at Fridays, my students and I basking in words, writing them down and speaking them out loud.
I came for this communion. I try to marvel in it, shush the voices in my head that tell me I should want more. I have so much. Let me be thankful for the life I’ve weaved around my word-loving skin.