No matter how cold it was outside there was always a square foot of pavement on Main Street that radiated heat. It was as though all the heat decided that to stay warm in the winter it would congregate in this square foot of space in front of Dreamwood Terrace. I paused here briefly on my way down Dreamwood Ave, to Frank's bookstore hoping to store up as much heat as I could before I committed to the walk. The olive green coat I normally wore now belonged to whichever Dreamwood resident had found it in the mail room at the start of the week. As far as layers go, I didn't bother with them much anyway to begin with. It was unseasonably warm so I left on the loose fitting white t-shirt I wore to bed.
The bookstore opens at 8. There's never any reason for me to be late to work, I wake up at 4 and have three hours to get ready, but I hardly ever show up on time. Frank's hardly got any business. Occasionally a student from the community college a few blocks away would stumble in looking for a break from the big business bookstore model, but other than that the store stood still, collecting dust on first edition copies of the classics. Despite the lack of profit the store made, I managed to keep my job there for a steady two years. The hum of the radiator staved off anxiety.
Ignatious Bellmont drove up in a creaky old truck at 10 o clock. He walked to the door with his own folding table table under his arm and a slight limp in his gait. Outside of his car were three cardboard boxes, presumably filled with the book he was peddling, "How to Make Friends and Keep Them" or something like that. Unmemorable. My palms were sweating for him, his ambitions were high but I knew he'd be lucky if he sold even two copies today.
In the back corner of the shop stands a fifty year old grandfather clock, the only item in the store that I bothered to dust regularly. Bellmont and I sat through five hour chimes before someone even walked past the store. A tall man in a long dirty coat sauntered up to the big store front window and leaned his back against it. He pulled a joint from his pocket, lit it, and began to take deep contemplative pulls. Picturesque in nature. The Canon Rebel T3i I'd bought two years ago to celebrate my job at Frank's sat by the register. It was a few models behind but the memories that came with it prevented me from upgrading. I grabbed it and stood next to Bellmont and began to shoot the man standing in the window. Shooting relaxed me, I forgot about my anxieties, my low income. I forgot about Bellmont sitting beside me, fan-less and disappointed. The man in the window and the smoke lifting in the air had captured my complete attention.