A Study – transcript from my journal, 20/02/2013
Sitting in Waterstones Piccadilly. Queues forming for Nicholas Sparks and two actors from his latest book to be made into a film. I’ll be there one of these days. I refuse to give up now.
Have tweeted that I’m here till 6 if anyone wants to buy my book and have me sign it. That was 15 minutes ago, and no one’s shown up yet. That’s not really a surprise, is it?
I fancy a quiet pint with a fag. Not much chance of that either, though.
Lots of short people here, too short to see my book on the top shelf of the P section.
I wish I could sketch. So many interesting shapes and faces. Different types of hands, fingers, ways of walking, talking, breathing.
Is the man opposite me famous, the one who’s on the phone saying he doesn’t know what he’s doing because no one told him where to go? So he leafs through his paper, headphone in one ear, the cable white against his ruddy cheek, a blue beret on his unruly dark brown hair, squints, frowns, crosses his legs, feet in suede boots, licks his finger, turns another page, short attention span, then finds something of interest, lingers, motionless, on the same page for minutes, and then the cycle begins again. Paper finished, he taps his fingers on the chair’s armrests, gets his phone out of his coat pocket, screws up his eyes, messes with his fingers on the screen, looks up every now and then as if he’s waiting for somebody, looking for somebody, and impatient at having to do so.
One minute to six. Still no one for my book.
Now he’s closed his eyes, supports his head with one hand, looks like he’s dozing. His phone rings, and he’s off again, complaining about not being told where to go. Call ends, and he’s back to masking his restlessness with apparent indifference. And then he bites one of his fingers, makes a decision, and off he goes, down the stairs and away. I wonder who he was.