After church on Sunday I met a friend for lunch. It was the sort of lunch that excluded spouses and children because we both needed to divulge feelings and thoughts without self-editing. I needed to tell her that I’m feeling low, like a dark cloud is coming and I’m well aware of it, that I knew this road would be long and hard but it’s feeling longer and harder than I anticipated. The things I said had no logical basis. It’s all feelings, which we know are unreliable. But that’s what friends are for – to listen to the irrational and offer comfort.
When our lunch was over we parted ways and I went to a local independent bookstore to peruse and daydream. I found a couple of used books as well as the 2014 Guide to Literary Agents. A dead giveaway, if ever there was one.
As I placed my findings at the check-out, the man at the register raised his eyebrows.
“Are you a writer?” he said.
I paused, then said, “Yes.”
“Well you know we like to feature local writers here, so when you’re published and want to do a book reading or signing, let me know,” he said, scanning my books and tallying the cost, as if what he’d just said didn’t shake the whole Earth.
My eyes welled with tears but I blinked them away.
“That would be great,” I said. “Here’s hoping.”
He looked at me, tilting his head so his long gray ponytail shifted.
“That’s humble of you,” he laughed. “That’s unusual for a writer.”
“I’m a realist,” I said, handing him my debit card.
He scanned the plastic and read my name.
“Jennie Miller,” he said, “Jennie Miller. I’ll remember your name.”
He swiped the card and handed it back to me as I choked down the breakdown I wanted to have in his bookstore.
“Thanks,” I said with a grin. “I appreciate it.”
Then I bolted out of the store and cried all the way back to my car. From his mouth to God’s ears.