There is a crazy lady in Miss Prothero's Books. I know because she's been in before. The last time she was here she wanted books about boyfriends. The one she had disappeared, and I don't mean he skipped town. He disappeared into a beam of light. Or so she said. After dismissing all my boyfriend books, she wondered...did if I had any books on voodoo? I did. She sat looking at the sole title for a very long time. She turned a page and pushed up her black frame glasses. She turned a page and pulled them back down. Her lips moved from time, but I didn't know if she was reading or responding to some inner voice.
Today she asked for books on spirituality. I pointed to south toward the religion section. When she found the correct shelves, she turned back and asked, "But do you have any books on the presence of God?"
"I imagine all of those in front of you are about the presence of God," I said waving her on to toward the spines of the books.
"And there may be a few in there about the absence..." I mumbled as I retreated to my office.
The crazy lady did not find what she was looking for.
She is now moving about the store, picking books up and putting them back in their place. (I hope.) She drops Glamorama by Brett Easton Ellis, then apologizes. She moves slowly from section to section, pushing her black frame glasses up the bridge of her nose as she shuffles from Mystery and Suspense to Gothic and Horror. She stops for a long time in Self-Help, stands transfixed by a book about auras.
She's killing time, I know. Like all of us. Waiting for God, I suppose. Or the presence of God. Whichever comes first.