Tuesday, September 9, 2014


She couldn't believe it. A copy of  Terms and Conditions; it was the only book by Stanley Parken she hadn't read. It was almost impossible to find, even the hold lines at the library were always hundreds of people long. And yet here it was. Of course, only one copy, but that's all she needed. Today was really going her way for sure!

It was supposed to be raining this morning but so far it was just cloudy and cool. She had forgotten her umbrella at work yesterday so was hopeful that the rain would hold off until she got back to the office. The elevator in her building that almost always took forever came as soon as she pushed the button. She had stopped to chat with the doorman and he let her know that he would keep an eye out for a package she was expecting so not to worry about that at all. Checking her watch she saw she had plenty of time to stop in for coffee before the bus was due.

After placing her order, and deciding to splurge today on a fancy coffee drink, the barista had let her know she got the last of the caramel syrup for her latte. And as she was picking up her drink she had noticed the time. "Is that clock right?" Yes, she had been told, it was an atomic clock, it was always right, and wasn't it cool? Seeing the time she realized that her watch had been running fast and she had ten minutes to kill. Not a lot of time but enough to pop in to that little book store she had been meaning to check out.

And now here she was holding a book she had wanted for years. It was definitely going to be a good day! She chatted with the clerk for a bit while he rung up her book then went out to wait for the bus. Hitting the door just as a man coming in was opening it. Perfect timing! She smiled her thanks and went to the stop...

Checking the shelves, and then checking them again. "Excuse me?" he said getting the clerk's attention, "I checked online and you had a copy of Terms and Conditions. Can you tell me what shelf that is on?" And then the news. What a weird coincidence that book had just been sold. Like literally just sold. The clerk was amazed and amused. He was not so much. He knew he should have called and put it on hold as soon as he saw it online. But he thought surely he could just drop in on the way to work, it was one day, nobody was going to buy it in one day. Nobody even read it anymore. Hell, the library only kept one old battered copy.

He should have known. The day had not started well. The elevator took forever, usually he was really lucky and it would stop right when he pushed the button but sometimes it would take forever, like today. He really wanted to talk to the doorman about it but he was busy signing for a delivery so that would have to wait. He stopped in to grab a drink before hitting the bookstore and the coffee shop was out of flavoring for his coffee. How does that even happen? It's not like it's a surprise that people like flavored coffee right? The barista just shrugged his shoulders and gave him a coupon for his next cup. Which he forgot on the counter.

"Wait? Is that clock right?" The clerk looked behind him and then at his phone, it matched so yeah, he would think so. Running out of the store only to see his bus pulling away he realized this was so not his day.

And then it started to rain....

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