Random Loiterer: "Are you new?"
Me: "No, I've worked here for almost a decade."
RL: "I haven't seen you before. Where's the woman who works here?"
RL: "And the other guy?"
Me: "There are a few other guys, but the other guy who worked on Tuesdays was just covering for me for a while."
RL: "A while? I've been coming here for months."
Me: "I was gone for January and February."
RL: "Two months vacation? Must be nice."
Me: "I was in a coma."
RL: "Oh. Uh. Sorry."
Buckle up. It's Monday.
Random Stoner: "Hey. Alright. I came in because I'm ready to talk about that movie."
RS: "You know, there's all that...talk about it this weekend. And, like, it was supposed to be big."
Ah, Captain Marvel.
Me: "I haven't seen it yet."
RS: "No. Noooooooo. I came in to talk to you about it."
I've never met this person before.
Me: "Sorry, I'm seeing it later this week."
RS: "But, it was good, right?"
Me: "I don't know yet."
RS: "Oh, man. I -- Do you have any, like giant -- You guys don't have giant books."
Me: "Like the ones on the top shelf there?"
I point. He walks in the opposite direction. Of course.
Me: "No, there."
RS: "Wow. Wowwwwwwwwwwwwww. These are -- what I'm looking for are coffee table books. Motorcycles. Sketch art. You know, for the foyer...or, the, ummmm gazebo? Parlor. For the parlor.
Me: "Sure. We don't have those."
RS: "I need people to walk in when I'm painting and be like wowwwwwwwwwww. This --- this is some --- like A level shit, you know?"
RS: "But you don't --- You seriously haven't seen that movie yet?"
RS: "It's fine. I shouldn't be spending money anyway. I have to --- I need to -- do they do laser printing across the hall?"
Me: "You'd have to ask them. I don't know."
RS: "What I'm gonna do, right? Before my show. I'm gonna have shit lasered into wood. Like a table with good wood, but I'd laser it --- like SPACE. I have 47 --- no 59 paintings I need to unload, you know? Renewal. Like when those anime guys take all of their stuff and --- Do you have any gundam?"
Me: "Not currently."
RS: "Shit. Hey, when did the weed store go? I mean --- not a weed store -- a paraphernalia store."
Me: "It's still there. It's across the park."
RS: "I shouldn't be spending -- Hey, instagram --- like marketing --- I could get you 20%." of what I have no idea.
Me: "Great. You should come in on Friday and talk to the owner."
RS: "Yes! Like I did for the collectible store in Methuen. 20%. I'm not a monster."
Me: "That's good."
RS: "You get my vibe. Social media -- it's -- like 10% for you but maybe you have a friend who can help, and they get 10%, that's TWENTY PERCENT."
RS: "Check out my Instagram. I need honest critique. Like, it's time -- my parents know I'm not like that -- but, like, I need to get rid of these paintings. Even if it's just 100,000. Which is -- which is 10% of what they're worth. You feel me?"
RS: "Let me write down -- what's my insta -- I think -- here. I should go. Do you think they really laser across the hall?"
Me: "I have no idea."
RS: "I'm a mech guy. Captain Ha -- He -- you know."
RS: "I'm not like manga. A little, I guess. But, like -- They need to make a Captain Marvel game. Open world like Tarantino, you know? Or Portal. Yea, Portal. How come there aren't any VR arcades around here where you can walk" he shows me what walking looks like "while you're in the virtual world? All they have around here is pinball."
Me: "I don't know."
RS: "They could make bank on that."
RS: "Friday. You should get people to BOGO. Like, not BOGO, but make people think they're getting a deal. You watch Big Bang Theory?"
RS: "You should youtube the gaffs. It will make you. You get people who smell the comics?"
Me: "No." Ok, a couple of times, but I'm not going to talk about them with this guy.
RS: "It's always wrong but -- how late is the paraphernalia shop open?"
Me: "I have no idea."
RS: "Marketing is key. You get it. You got it. I'm gonna go laser."
Me: "Good luck."
He walks across the hall. I think the entire staff has gathered around him. So he must be equally entertaining there.
His instagram is locked. His follower to following ratio is 1/100. I will not be following him. And, thus, shall never know of his million dollar paintings.
Ten minutes before close, Annoying Painter Who Did Too Many Drugs In The 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s comes in. Already in the store is someone who has been asking me about comics in the warehouse for at least four years. I am certain neither of them will ever leave.
Annoying Painter: "Is Tony--"
Me: "I told you yesterday to come in on Friday. I wrote it down. I told you to put it in your wallet. Friday is the day to come in and talk to him. Only Friday."
AP: "Are you--"
Me: "I can't price things, buy things, evaluate things, tell you what he's looking for, or tell you what's in the warehouse. YOU. HAVE. TO. COME. IN. ON. FRIDAYS."
And then my boss walks in with boxes of stuff to put away.
Tony: "Hi. I have to bring in a bunch of boxes. I don't have time to talk to you right now. Try coming in on Friday."
AP: "Of course, of course. You're busy. But I have these old comics, and I don't want them. But I think they're valuable, could you --"
Tony: "I have five more boxes to bring in. You should come in on Friday."
He leaves to get more boxes. I start putting away some of the books from the boxes he's already brought in."
AP: "I think Mad should do something with Trump because Alfred E. Neum--"
Me: "They have." I grab the Mad About Trump book. "We've talked about it before. Have a look again."
AP: "Did you know Stan Lee died."
AP: "Did Kirby write for Mad Magazine? Is Kirby even an artist?"
Me: "Not that I know of, and yes."
Me: "I'm sorry. I have to put all these things away, right now. Could you come back on Friday?"
Tony arrives with more boxes.
AP: "So some of the comics I brought in are pretty rare."
Tony: "You said that. I'll be right back."
AP: "How much do you thi--"
Me: "I don't do pricing or evaluating."
AP: "Got ya. Because he's the boss."
Me: "Sure. Just so you know, we are closed right now."
And to my eternal shock, the usually super annoying What Do You Have In The Warehouse Guy comes up to the counter.
WDYHITWG: "Sorry, I forgot you guys closed earlier now. I'll buy these."
And he actually buys two comics. And leaves.
While I ring in his sale, Tony comes in with the last of the boxes, and starts to put them on the shelves.
AP: "How much do you guys give for these books? Thirty percent of resale? Forty? Half?"
AP: "If you want to take a look at them, they're pretty exciting."
Tony: "Could you bring them in on Friday. I'm not really supposed to be here tonight, I'm just dropping off these boxes, and then I have to go home and read with my son."
AP: "Of course. Of course. No rush man. I've been to California before. Aren't you from there?"
Tony: "Yea, I'm from LA."
AP: "Do you remember...." And here begins a ten minute conversation about dead people from California. High schools in California. Venues from California that closed decades ago. California. California. Califuckenfornia. And nothing about how it knows how to party, or why Jonathan Coulton hates it.
Tony: "Well, it's great talking to you." Liar. "But I have to go home. And Adam has to close out and go home, and I'm in his way."
AP: "Of course, of course. Hey, do you have some time to look at these comics before you go?"
At this point, I would have decided not to buy anything from him, or totally lowball whatever crap he has. This guy has wasted hours of my time, usually talking about how much he hates comics, and what a waste of time they are. And how everyone steals from him, yadda yadda. And I think, if people do steal from him, maybe it's in the hopes he will be so mad that he'll never bother them again. Because Fuck This Guy.
But Tony looks at the comics, finds four he's interested in, and gives the guy thirty bucks.
Tony: "But now I have to go. And I can't go until you go."
AP: "What about the rest of the books? I don't want them."
Tony: "Bring them Friday."
AP: "Yea, you're the owner. You only have to come in once a week."
Tony: "I'm in other days, but I'll be busy. Bring the books in on Friday."
AP: "Could you write that down for me?"
Me: "NO. It's in your wallet already. I gave it to you last night."
AP: "I lost it."
Tony writes it down.
AP: "Hey, when you were in California, did you ever go to---"
Tony: "I really have to go. It's been great talking to you." Liar. "But you'll have to come back on Friday. I need to get home."
AP: "Sure. Sure. It's very New England. Having to go home."
He walks into the hallway. Tony and I exchange a look. AP picks up one of the boxes we use for shipping.
Me: "Hey. Those are not free. Or for customers. Those are our shipping boxes."
AP: "You need all these?"
Me: "We do. We do a lot of shipping." Liar. "Please don't take our boxes."
AP: "They're a perfect fit for my paintings."
Me: "Then you should get them from the Post Office. But we need those."
AP: "Of course. I would never take them without asking." Liar. "Do you have anything I could put paintings in?"
AP: "I used to do a lot of concert posters. There's this website--"
Tony: "It's time to go. it's been great talking to you." Liar. "We have to close."
AP: "Right. Right. Have you ever seen the Jimi Hendrix poster? The famous one."
I go into the bathroom. Not because I need to use it, but to get away from him. I immediately turn on the hand dryer. When I come out, he is gone.
Tony leaves. I am ten minutes into closing when there's a knock on the window. I see that it's AP. I get up, walk out the door, and sit in the hallway and play on my phone for five minutes. When I come back within sight-lines, he is gone.
How much do you want to bet he'll be back in tomorrow, asking if Tony is in? Or if I can price his books?
My favorite loiterer of the day to her insufferable friend, who was wandering around ranting about "his vampire novel":
"Maybe before you start worrying about the fan base for your series of vampire novels, you should, I don't know, actually sit down and write at least a few pages of your first vampire novel. Or, like, anything. It's tough to get an audience before you've produced the product."
My Dad: Want to watch this documentary about the Alamo?
Me: No, thanks. I've already seen Pee-Wee's Big Adventure.
Random Bullshitter to a person of another gender: "This is their noir section. They organize things by genre."
Me: "Nope. That's our European section. Books written and/or drawn by Europeans. There are also some South American creators on the third shelf."
RB: "I'm pretty sure it's all your noir stuff."
RB's Victim: "Are you seriously arguing with the person who works here about how their store is organized? Do you ever stop?"
RB: "That's it. I'm done. I have reached my limit. Goodbye."
And then I and the person who remained had a lovely conversation about which European comics she might enjoy.
Mom: Your suitcase is too heavy. You'll have to pay extra.
Me: I don't think so.
Mom: I'll get the scale. You take the books out.
I take the books out.
Me: See, it's only thirty pounds.
Mom: It feels heavier.
Me: I don't have twenty pounds of books in this pile, so I'm going to put them back in.
Mom: I don't know. How heavy is that one?
I take my copy of The Working Girls' Bible and put it on the scale.
Me: Seven pounds! Still, the rest of the pile is probably about four pounds.
Mom: Weigh it.
Me: Three pounds. That's a total of forty, which is still ten pounds under the limit.
Mom: Don't forget you still have to put in your bathing suit.
Me: Yes. My twelve pound concrete bathing suit is what's going to push it over the limit.
Me on Saturday: I like the ad you posted about the apartment in Medford. Here's some info about me. The ad had "roommate" in the title, I would like to know a little bit about the person currently living there. Here is my availability.
Realtor on Sunday: Let's meet Thursday.
Me on Sunday: Great. What time? Where? And could you give me a little info about the person already living there?
Realtor on Monday: Thursday at six.
Me on Monday: Where?
Realtor on Monday: At the house.
Me on Monday: There is no address listed on the ad for the house. Where should I meet you?
Realtor on Monday: It's on Riverdale Street.
Me on Monday: You are very bad at your job, and I'm not interested in property you represent. I'll look elsewhere.
Realtor on Monday: I also have apartments in Cambridge and Watertown.
There's this tiny clock in the guest room at my mother's that's been bugging me out. No matter what time of day I look at it, it's always somewhere between 715 and 900. Day, night, afternoon. I kept mentioning to ask about it. Because it reminded me of being in the hospital when I was still on a lot of drugs, and was convinced the analog clock was wrong because my brain wasn't up to processing big hand/little hand or Roman Numerals.
I just took a closer look at the clock in the guest room.
It's a digital thermometer.
Mom: Victoria is coming after seven with some fresh baked brownies for you.
Me: That's very nice of her. Is this going to be like the orange bread that Sue made that I never got a chance to try because you and your husband ate it all?
Mom: You are not ever allowed to tell Sue that.