Brief Interlude at the Bookstore or Apropos of Nothing Much

Brief Interlude at the Bookstore or Apropos of Nothing Much

Giggle. Smirk. …couldn’t stand the teacher… O my god, did you see the guy looking at us… I couldn’t believe Jan told him what I said… where did you guys go last night…

My gaze and attention wandered along various posters on the walls, each portraying famous authors and their works. Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. William Faulkner’s To Have and Have Not. John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. I wondered if my giggling duo might ever read such works.

Picking up one of my books, I was again reminded why I liked John Grisham’s writing style. Taut and not overly garnished with adjectives. He gives the reader wiggle room to flesh out the written word into his own, personal theater of the mind. Just enough description to put the reader into the scene but not make him an unwilling participant of the action.

Coffee finished, I stood up and walked past the coffee counter toward the door. My hearing aids were still sonically sharpened and I heard the barista say, “Have a nice day, Arthur.” I looked up; she smiled at me; I winked at her, and continued out the door.

What’s with her? She’s not even a quarter my age; she remembered my name; she fixed my coffee ahead of another customer, and she took time to smile at me. Guess it pays to be polite and friendly with sales people.

I got in my car and headed home, thinking that maybe this is what Tanya St. Clair tried to drum into her class about taking notes, remembering things: sounds, sights, smells, colors… well, let’s give it a try. Although I didn’t have a notebook to write down my impressions, I’ll just show her that I’m not, by golly, endlessly fixated on the Arctic and Eskimos.

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About the Author

Arthur SandstromBorn in rural Poulsbo, Washington and raised by his grandparents, Arthur C. Sandstrom reflects much of his Norwegian heritage and old-fashioned upbringing. He was educated by the same teachers who taught his mother, ran movies at the local theater, worked several times at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in nearby Bremerton, and spent five years in the local National Guard unit. Arthur joined the U.S. Army’s Alaska Communication System in 1955 and spent ten continuous years in Nome, interrupted only by in-place transfer to the U.S. Air Force. He developed a deep and abiding interest in the Inuit culture and experienced much of its customs and way of life while in Alaska. After leaving Nome, Arthur transitioned to the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations and spent time in Texas, Washington, DC, and Germany. Retiring after 21 years, he worked for the CIA in communications then became a special agent with the Department of Defense. He finally formally retired and has done special investigating for various Federal agencies. Arthur enjoys writing stories, amateur radio, metal detecting, classical music, and meeting interesting people.

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