Sunday means it is time for another sample from the upcoming book. This one works off a basic premise that came to me very late one night while shelving at BOOKSTOP. What if book covers were alive and you were the only one who knew?
Visions of Reality
“Look, John, I just want you to shelve the product.” Mr. Phillpots, the store manager, pointed with his black pen, jabbing the air for emphasis as he added, “A book is a book. Nothing more. No deep meanings. Just get them out there. Got it?"
“Books aren’t a product like a sack of potatoes, Mr. Phillpots. They mean much more. All books aren’t equal. Some of that stuff is just trash.”
This was a losing proposition because the man had no soul. How do you explain such a concept to a non-book lover? It was hopeless, and instead of being a good and loyal yes man, I had tilted at the windmill again.
In annoyance, Phillpots tossed the pen down on the desk and rocked back in his expensive orthopedic chair. A chair that he wouldn't need if he actually did something useful and worked the sales floor like the rest of us. The money saved could have been used to fix the aging air conditioning system that was losing the ongoing war with the brutal Texas summer heat. After staring at me for what seemed forever, he started shaking his head like I was a bad dog that had made a mess on the carpet.
“Listen, I know you’ve been having,” his pudgy fingers made the obligatory quotation marks, “some emotional problems lately.” He paused for a moment, his beady little eyes gauging my reaction. My face burned in embarrassment, and I shifted slightly in the chair. Phillpots lowered his voice in an attempt to be comforting and supportive; reminding me my calls to the employee hotline had been handled. “It’s okay, really. I’ve thought for a long time you needed help. I’m very glad you’re getting it. So let’s make this simple.” He paused and then did that stupid little nod he always did right before he issued one of his edicts. “While you’re here at work, I just want you to do what you’re told. Just put the product on the shelf. Don’t think about it. The books aren't alive or anything…..”