PAIGE 69 - SHOPKEEPING

Des was pretty tired today, so I've been helping him with placing orders, kind of. I don't really know what I'm doing, mostly it just involves scanning barcodes. The fairies in the computer figure out the rest of it. At the end of today I was mopping the floor, and Des said that he was sorry he wasn't up to it today. Usually I do the rest of cleaning and unpacking when the day is over while Des is mopping, but it didn't bother me. He said Livi I have to ask you something. I said anything. As long as it wasn't about sport. He laughed, and said no. I said is it about my mopping? I don't really know what I'm doing, is there a technique? He said it wasn't. So I said ok. And then he just sort of watched me for a while, and I thought to myself I'm totally doing it wrong, aren't I? I bet there's some polishing method involving cocentric circles and black magic only store owners are privy to. He laughed. Apparently shopkeepers are also telepathic.

Des said Livi why are you working so hard? I said we're almost closing, aren't we? He said oh sure but that's not what I mean. I said oh. He said Livi I've had employees here before, and some of them worked seven days when we were real busy. I know you don't work Sundays, and I'm... I'm thinking of maybe closing up on Sunday, and going to the church once in a while. I can't this week, but maybe next. I said sure we'd be glad to see you there. He didn't say anything then for a while, and I just kept on mopping. I was thinking do I say something? And the first thing I thought of was Ms. Tomson's rhubarb-and-cherry, so I put it out of my mind. I said God, I'm useless.

We shut up shop, and all the time my heart was burning as if I wanted to tell him something, but my brain just froze like a slurpee left outside the back door in winter, and I said Uh Des, uh Des do we... do we close? He said yes, he's closing now. I kicked myself. What do I say? Say something. "A rock in a weary land." "Huh?" So I just started humming and pretended I meant to say that. "My Jesus is a rock in a weary land, a weary land, oh a weary land. My savior is a rock in a weary land, a shelter in the time of storm."

We closed, and went home, and I just sat at home so furious with myself being stupid. I mean I could have said something useful, and now.

Oh, I also bought a phone.

- Livi