It's been long time since I opened this tiny shop, over forty years now, and I wouldn't have swapped a single day of it, even if I could.
I provide a service you see, to the local community, keep them provided with things, so to speak. Things that no-one else can provide.
It took a while for the locals to accept me, and my wares, but once word got around I became the most successful shop in the village, and a jealously guarded secret from any outsiders, which was fine by me. I wasn't in it for the money you see, I was sent here as a kind of experiment, from them up there.
Today has been much of a typical one. Mrs Furlong popped in just after I flipped the sign to OPEN, her twin daughters in tow. “Half a pound of Interest please, Mister Godfrey. I'm feeling a bit lack-lustre today.”
Mister Godfrey, that's me, not my real name, but then again, what's in a name?
We chatted amiably as I weighed out the Interest, wrapped it, and took her money.
“You use that as soon as you can, dear.” I told her as she was leaving, she did look as though she needed it.
And so the day went on, and the sales were regular and frequent. A jar of happiness, a tin of self esteem, two sticks of determination, an ounce of kindness, a bottle of love, a sprig of sympathy, a packet of inspiration. The usual stuff.
Sometimes a small queue grew whilst I served some unfortunate with a long list, and occasionally I had time for a breather when the shop was empty for a few minutes.
The doorbell jangled, and in walked Martha Blessingham. Now Martha had been one of my very first customers, she had been a pensioner when I first came here and was well over a hundred years old now.
“Hiya Martha, lovely to see you my dear, your smile always brings the sunshine to my day. Will it be the usual?”
“Yes please Mister Godfrey, a slice of life please.” Her eyes twinkled and her mouth smiled its natural smile, she was a truly lovely, and lovable person.
“I've got a nice new piece, fresh in today.” I told her, as I reached under the counter and hefted the heavy slab of life up onto the cutting board. I placed the carving knife an inch or so along the slab, then glanced at Martha flirtatiously, twitching my eyebrows rapidly, smiling broadly.
“Oh, you are such a tease, Mister Godfrey.” She chuckled, as she waggled her finger, indicating that I should move the knife up a bit.
“A thicker slice than usual today then Martha? You must be ravenous.”
“Oh I am, Mister Godfrey, I am indeed, I just can't seem to get enough of it”
“There you go Martha.” I said, handing her the wrapped slice of life. “You'll enjoy that, it's prime quality, nothing but the best for you my dear.”
“Why thank you kindly Mister Godfrey, must dash now, I have all sorts of things to do today. See you again tomorrow.”
“Bye dear.” I called after her. Lovely lady.
I love the life that they have given me, and like I said, I wouldn't swap a single day of it, even if I could.
I'm hoping that this experiment is a success, and that them up there decide to expand it to a global level, I think it could be a real winner.
©2012 Stephen. J. Green.