can i help you?

I spent most of the afternoon browsing a local record store. It was one of those days where I felt like listening to something new, but I didn't know what I wanted--I so seldom do. So I browsed. The store was mostly empty, except for one or two other people and the girl who was working the counter. I'm not sure what the right word is for that. Is it clerk? Is she a record store clerk?

And then I guess because I looked uncertain and it's her job anyway she says, "Can I help you?" and there's so many ways I could answer that without even getting to the obvious innuendo you could make there. I mean, how do you say "I want to listen to one of those bands that was really good but never had a chance to go mainstream because they weren't lucky or didn't have the business savvy or never wrote a single that caught the right person's ear so they probably just opened for some of the more famous local bands a few times and did some aggressive touring and maybe even made a CD which a few people listened to and thought was really great, but they never took off or made it big, or even really made it locally. I want undiscovered gems. Can you even ask somebody for those?

So I just said, "You know, I don't really know."

"What are you looking for?"

"Haven't the foggiest." And I smiled, because there's a lot to be said for admitting that you have no idea what you want. "Sorry."

And I almost feel like her smile in response was genuine.

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