at ye olde charity bookstore cafe, V and i discussed the woman who came in last week and wanted to haggle down the prices of the two mildly shopworn donated paperbacks she wanted to purchase (which she did, by $1.50, after i conferred with an actual employee). she turned to her friend, who had just joined her at the counter, and smiled: "every little bit helps." she circulated in the store for a few more minutes and came back to ask what the building had been before we turned it into a bookstore. i didn't know; none of the other volunteers or the staffer with us did, either. "you should know that," she hissed. "that and books are what people want." V hadn't known about the haggling until this afternoon. "hausverbot! she is banned from entering this place."

when V left to rearrange a display i got to talking with P, an artist, as he replaced rare books in the glass cases near the front door. i made a somewhat disparaging comment about jeff koons and he mentioned that they shared an ex; "cicciolina, actually." he had been involved with her after koons was. "are you telling me you have koons cooties?" "yeah, i guess so." i asked about made in heaven; he said it was absolutely not weird that he'd seen it before they met. "it's just like anything someone did before you were dating them." i mean, visual artists, but i disagreed. "if jeff koons can make a living painting, why can't you?" she used to say to him. that sounded so cold to me that i misinterpreted P at first and thought he meant a living painting, like pageant of the masters (do you, southern california). no, a living painting, and P quoted her to koons when they met years later. they had a good laugh.

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