No café sales.
But the construction worker who’s bought a “Cheesesteak” stopped by my table to say he was enjoying it, and the woman from the bicycle shop to whom I give the Datebook section of the paper, when I haven’t given it to the octogenarian aerobics instructor said, “Are those your books? I’ll have to pick one up sometime.”
In other news, I finally learned how the distributor did with “The Schiz.” The rumored 900 “pre-sales” seem to have turned into 548 actual orders, of which 280 (so far) have been returned. That looks like 268 copies sold, which seems pretty grim; but when you figure this was a book whose own back cover boldly declared it “much rejected” and “much reviled” and which had no advertising, no publicist, no reviews, and an author whose own former publisher had declared him someone “no one has never heard of,” it is somewhat astonishing it sold any copies at all. Then when you add the 80 or so books I sold myself, with no one else taking a cut, I am left less than a grand in the hole, which I can lose a hellova lot more than from my IRA in the blink of a tweet from the c**ksucker-in-chief, it’s pretty much “Pick yourself up; brush yourself off; and start all over again.” Besides, as my friend Robert the Glass Artist says, “That’s not the point, is it?”
Of course, it’s not. I know that. Yet the availability and convenience of numerical measures – sales, gross – even amidst others of more spiritual gradient, enables them to persistently weigh upon me.
Time to step up the meditation.