After turning Suzanne Somers’ book Ageless over in my hands (and my mind), I toted it inside from the rack on the sidewalk, ready to hand over 50 cents for it. I pay 50 cents for a newspaper. Even a book by Suzanne Somers is worth that.
Come and knock on our door …
I hear you, theme from “Three’s Company.”
The oldish guy seated behind the counter in the used bookstore had longish gray hair. A oldish cigarette with a longish ash hung from his fingertips.
“I’ll take this one,” I said, setting Somers’ missive on the cluttered counter. “Do you have a memoir section?”
He eyed me briefly and pointed me down a longish aisle to a hand-lettered sign that said “Biography Room.” Off I went to explore the used treasures therein.
Surrounded by old book smell, I was just happy to be upright this afternoon as I browsed through various political and celebrity memoirs (I found memoirs by Loni Anderson and Rob Lowe I couldn’t live without — because one used book by a washed-up celebrity isn’t enough). I took a shower this morning for the first time since Tuesday, when I was tanked by a virulent strain of the coughing-aching-stuffy-head flu, delivered with a generous helping of exhaustion (for those of you who are counting, this was my second bout of flu this winter). For four days, it was all I could do to change my underwear and brush my teeth.
This morning, I could breathe again, glorious breathing in and out through my nose. I showered. Shaved. Washed my hair. Exfoliated my face. Body lotion. Antiperspirant. Wrinkle creams of every weight and brand.
I even blow-dried my hair and applied mascara.
So my Beloved and I ran an errand that I had been putting off, and the errand brought us near enough to the bookstore that Suzanne Somers’ tome caught my eye (oh, to feel ageless again, when I was just happy to feel human).
A minute or two after I disappeared into the Biography Room (which was more like a Biography Closet, but who’s complaining), my Beloved entered the store, having satisfied his curiosity at the antique shop next door.
“Is my wife here?”
“There’s a lot of wives here,” the smoking clerk said. He paused, eyeing my Beloved and putting two and two together. “Oh, you mean the tall looker? She’s back there, in the Biography Room.”
Did you hear that? He called me a tall looker. Me. The woman who, only hours before, looked like death warmed over. I was no longer the woman of greasy hair and bloodshot eyes and sneezing attacks.
I am a tall looker.
A tip to the clerk wasn’t appropriate, but he certainly earned one.