Showdown (DOG EAR)

Showdown (DOG EAR)

ou’ll remember last week’s piece, where I talked about the difficulty of getting a bookstore to move on a decision for stocking a few copies of Early Retyrement. And that I said I was going to go in and get some sort of resolution here.


Okay, so Sunday I went to the theater at noon and saw Fury, a good movie with a scene I’m going to comment on next week (and if you don’t like spoilers, you’d better go see it). Enjoyed myself. But I knew that I was going to drop in on that store on the way home.

Pulled into the lot and thought about it. See, I have this problem – I sweat. Raymonds tend to share this (at least Dad said he suffered it. My brother is probably too cool for it, and my sister too competent). But I sweat. It’s why I suck in interviews, and how come, when I did a filmed interview in Ocoee a few years back, I didn’t tout it here. My fifteen minutes of perspiration, you know? Kinda embarrising.

When I checked in at this store last time, I started to sweat. All I was asking was if they were going to stock the book, no big deal. Yet drippity dammit drip.

But this time. No, I’m done with sweating. I got out of the car, looking cool (sunglasses and a mini, so, yeah, somewhat cool). As I walked across the lot, I realized that I had nothing to fear. The worst thing they’d do is give me my book back, and hey, at least I’d have my book back after months of indecision on their part. Why should I get nervous anyway? I’m the independent writer breaking my balls to get the book on their silly shelves, and they are the ones being unprofessional.

So, as I boosted myself, I actually found myself purposely breaking my usual purposeful stride, adapting a Gary Cooper shuffle. There are a lot of traits of Americans I can do without, but the concept of ‘cowboy’ is a powerfully human thing, the shuffle-at-your-own-pace, the authority-breaking gait. Neatly swiped the sunglasses off as I mounted the stairs. Came in and saw that the owner was not around, that she’d left one of her coffee house buddies to mind the store.

So I asked for the owner, casual and, thankfully, bone dry. Gary Cooper in that dusty street, hand on his sixshooter, if Miss Ownerlady was in. No, of course not. She maintains a destroyer screen of part-timers.

Do you know if she’s had a chance to come to a decision concerning my novel “Early Retyrement”? Couldn’t say?

So I gave her my name and she didn’t write it down. And that’s a magic act I could do without, a disingenuous act of blowoff. I know that if you are taking a card from a Japanese businessman, you do it with both hands. If you don’t, it’s insulting. Same with not writing down a name. You’re going to remember it? Uh huh.

And that leaves me in an interesting place. The first thought is to take charge and ask for the book back. Yes, satisfying, but what does it gain me? The second thought is to email her, but since she hasn’t answered my other two emails, it’s likely these will go into the same junk folder. So, okay, it looks like I am committing to a trip a week, picking random times to visit. This is a Forum declaration (if you know what that means). I don’t need her to even say yes or no. I just want her to see me in the flesh, look me in the eye, note my Gary Cooper stance, and acknowledge that I’m still waiting for her answer.

Yes, writing. Can there be anything better for the soul?

Next week, my storytelling problem with Fury.