i'm working in a bookshop. there is this accordionist.
when i showed up one thursday night some weeks ago, he was over by the tube station and, shortly thereafter, packed up his bags. and i smiled and thought, oh how lovely, it is like we are in paris, it is just like amélie.
tuesday morning was another matter. because on tuesday morning he was outside the bookshop at 9 a.m. and he stayed until way past lunch.
oh how lovely, it is like we are in paris, it is just like amélie, multiple people said upon coming into the shop. it must be such a joy to work under these conditions.
but what you don't know, my colleague told one such person, is that he has a very limited repertoire. a repertoire of two.
it's like that scene in the "arrivederci, fiero" episode of how i met your mother. when they're on the roadtrip in marshall's car, which has "i would walk 500 miles" stuck in the tape deck, and it goes in cycles, where they're into it then they're over it and then they're back into it again. this accordion player's repertoire of two was like that.
you'd be all oh how lovely, it is just like amélie, and then- like a storm front moving in on a sunny day- you'd be thinking, holy shit, when will this stop?!?!!?! and feel your blood pressure begin to rise and then you'd be back to oh how lovely, like paris.
around noon, the accordionist turned, to face directly into our shop. thus, dramatically increasing the volume in which his limited repertoire was expressed, giving us one final blast of hypertension and then, suddenly, he was gone. by which point his repertoire was so embedded into our internal existences that we didn't notice for at least twenty minutes.
oh, he's gone. my colleague observed, looking wistfully out at the spot where he'd been standing, which was now empty save for discarded plastic bags whirling like urban tumble weeds on the wind.
with the street returned to the normal sounds of screaming children, wailing sirens, and bus whirrs, i replied, i've a newfound sympathy for people who work near carousels.