There’s this used book store near my house, it’s amazing. I’d only been in once, quickly, and my oldest kiddo was irritated that I would dare go to such a place without him. So he and I returned the other day.
This place has books from floor to ceiling, every kind and type you can think of. I could stay in there for years.
My son disappears off on his own, as he does, and I wander by the front desk to ask about the sale I saw posted outside.
The oldest man I’ve possibly ever seen is there. I mean old, like 100. He’s skinny, pale and frail looking, with a big ole smile. So I ask about the sale, and he tells me, immediately followed by,
“Do ya have an email?”
“Yes I do” I say (smiling inwardly and outwardly),
“Well, if you’ll write it down here you can get an email around Christmas telling you about our next sale, but first things first, Where’d ya park?”
I tell him I parked across the street, where you have to pay of course.
“Well, next time go down Wilson around the corner, there’s an alley and if ya keep going down we have our own parking lot, it’s got signs, and you can park for free, it’s not usually full. Now remember, you only got 2 1/2 hours till we close”.
I love him. He is exuding happiness and joy. I wish I had taken his picture.
There is also a younger (oh 40’s or 50’s) Asian man running around working in the store. He’s answering the phone, laughing, digging around the store for books. climbing up and down ladders looking for titles for people. The entire time, he’s smiling. We keep getting in each others way, he’s laughing. He’s complaining about going up ladders, but he’s smiling.
We chat about silly book titles, I love him too.
Finally, we pick our goodies, and my son and I go to the front counter to pay. The younger Asian man is ringing us up, Pops is standing next to him. Out of nowhere, Pops says,
“This is my adopted son. He has a beautiful singing voice, oh you should hear him around New Year’s…..”
Trails off, adopted son is snickering smiling saying no no no I don’t do that anymore….
I love them both more. My son and I look at each other, you know, the smiling ‘listen to these guys’ look.
Just as we are done, Pops tells us “Now first things first, Where’d ya park?”.
I go through the story again, I love him more.
We thank them say we’ll be back. The minute we are out of the store, my son says he wants to just go down there and hang out all day.
I don’t blame him. Those two men are amazing and wonderful, and I believe a shining light onto all the people around them.
And thank God, now I know where to park.