Sold one Schiz and one Cheesesteak. Both went to a stocky, balding middle-aged fellow, whose hair was slicked back like Jimmy Hoffa’s. He turned out to be an ex-Alameda County employee, who had worked with the homeless, schizophrenics, and the abused, and was now in in a doctoral program on social change, believing the best way to improve people’s lives was to improve their environment.
A few days before, my Checkered Demon “Buy Bob’s Books!” sign had caught the eye of a 30-something woman and her older male partner-of-10-years. Her parents had fled Peru when she was 13 to avoid the violence of the Shining Path. He was from Colombia but had been sent to Valley Forge Military Academy by his parents (who later moved to Miami) to avoid the violence of the drug cartels. She was an abstract artist, with an upcoming show in Richmond, and he ran a start-up working toward “clean” electricity. We discussed “Narcos,” the Free Speech Movement, my 45-year marriage, whether he should move his company to Mexico or Florida, his hyper-tension, my heart attacks. (I know we didn’t discuss the Warriors and I am pretty sure no one mentioned Trump, both of which were a relief.)
The conversation was fun and engaging and so warming in its humans-can-be-good-folks connectivity, not slaughtering anyone, not kicking others further down the economic ladder, it barely occurred to me to note that they hadn’t bought a book.
In other news, I have been notified that the distributor has only two copies of The Schiz in its warehouse. Who, I thought immediately, bought them?
Well, one person I now know of. A cartoonist in Toronto, about whom I have written, said he purchased a copy at The Beguiling (but had not yet read it). Only 6-700 more for which to find homes.
My contact/guide says we should await post-holiday returns before ordering a second printing. But what about an e- or audio book. (He has the equipment.) I liked the later idea particularly. I am to be the reader. Can Adele do Tisa? I ask. Or must I do all the voices? Do I differentiate between speakers by lapsing into (probably offensive) dialect?
I was a great reader aloud in elementary school.
Sounds like fun.