I bet you know a lot about Q by now, if you hang out in this bookshop much. We’ve got acres of pages written about him already, but did you know there’s a new Donna Emerald novel, too? Oh yessy, indeedy, and not only can you admire the artwork and sit on the squeaky leather seats under my reading lamps, considerately positioned on side tables with hot tea freshly poured at your elbow, while you peruse my journals, but there’s also an invite to a special auction, for special customers.
Q loves a good grift, so I feel sure he would approve heartily of my auctioning off the portrait I did of him while he performed “The Q Woo” for me, which you’ve no doubt read about in one of the journals at your elbow, or sliding from your lap, as you snooze in your cosy alcove, lulled by the ticking of the Q clock.
You see, Q doesn’t come ’round no more, and since he’s absconded rather hastily, from various parties hot on his heels, he’s left his portrait behind, much as he adored looking at himself. You’ll adore it too, dear reader, since he was a cutey, with nearly a whole tube of ceruleum blue used up, just to get those baby blues right, and two palette knives worn down in the chiseling of his cheeks. Wouldn’t you like this framed on yer bedroom walls, ladies? Or gents, wouldn’t this just make you feel like saluting, after waxing your mustachios and straightening your epulets? Yes Sir!
Now, I’ve never turned down a cash paying customer at my bookstore, and browsers are also more than welcome; after all, wasn’t it Donne who said..?
“They also serve
Who only stand and wait.”
But honestly, some just come in and spoil the whole atmosphere, without even wiping the mud from the street off their shoes first. This lady kicked up such a fuss about that scandalous book, which she erroneously believed contained instructions for how to kill her (banish the thought!) that I thought I was Donne, but now I find that
“When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
For I have more…”
Pardon my loquacity, but I do like my poetry and prose, and the muse can’t be stopped, even by elderlies, who imagine the plot is about them. Don’t fret, she will not darken the bookshop door again; the library will deliver the novel to her on a trolley, no doubt, instead:
So, you see, it promises to be a fun event, and when we reach our 17th customer (we’ve passed one of Q’s other favourite numbers, 10, recently, and shared a Q secret to celebrate that) we’ll let you know, because we value your custom, and want to find out which sherry you favour with which cheese, for the reception. That’s why your invite doesn’t have the date on it, just a big 17. It won’t be long now, though, so pencil it in, in your moleskin dairy. See you there, and thank you for your custom.
(Discretely nudges an interesting journal article on “The Q Affaire” towards you, to whet your appetite for the novel)
Oh, look, who’s this, droppin’ over to her place? Q himself, in deep, deep, disguise, in his “Jack” character. She must have left her groceries behind her, in aisle one, or somethin’, that he’s doing special home deliveries of the eggs she left behind, to her comments sections. So friendly, too, when he’s in the murder gang, that kill, according to her. Making omelettes from the broken eggs together, no doubt. Hope she has a few dozen in, as she’s got other friends with nowhere else to go, at the moment, too. They must have misbehaved in reading rooms, or something.