I had many, many long soul crushing hours on my hands as I waited, bored to tears, for the next customer. This was back when I worked in an off license. This was back when I started writing.
There was one old fella that came in regularly for his bottle of whiskey. Kind of a big ol’ walrus of a man. He always spoke quite slowly and brusquely.
“Give me some of that Scottish shit.”
I’d grab his usual brand, wrap it and bag it. Take the payment and he’d shuffle out with a heartfelt, “Fuck you.”
“And fuck you too, sir!” I’d cheerily reply.
Another regular was the sweetest, kindest old well-to-do type lady you could ever hope to meet. She’d come in for her sherry, which you’d have to turn away from the counter and go over to the shelf for. By the time I’d turn back she’d have nestled various different chocolate bars in her coat pockets.
When I first noticed this I was stunned. When I told the boss he flat out refused to believe me, another one of my stupid moments probably. But when he witnessed it himself he was stunned too.
We never told her we knew, we’d just charge her for a couple of Mars Bars here and there.
There were many more characters that killed a few minutes in the hours of hanging around doing nothing but in-between them all was the mindless doodling on the paper we wrapped the bottles in. This turned into words, this turned into a love for writing and twenty years later I’m back at it again and remembering why I did it in the first place.
I’m quite enjoying myself!