“Are you looking for something particular?” Greeted a guy, probably late 20-ish, bearded with topknot, and grandpa glasses reminding me of Hayao Miyazaki. Another hipster, must’ve been a vegan and only ate organic stuff, I judged silently while giving a quick smile and looked away while saying, “Not really. Just browsing around. Too many cool stuff here, though.” He grabbed one book from a close rack and said, “We’ve got privately published books here. This one is great, combination of sketch and random thoughts of the author which is an interesting young lady. You aren’t from here, are you?”
I took the book from his hand and opened a random page while answering, “Nope. My friend told me about this bookstore near an abandoned amusement park, and I dropped by.” The page was beautiful with a roughly water-colored pencil sketch of condominiums neighborhood with lines below it, ‘To find and to be found is a strange thing,’. “Is your friend from Fremantle?” He asked and took a glance on the page I opened. “No, she’s from Perth. I’m on a business trip in Perth.” I flipped through the sketches, mostly accompanied by a couple or less of paragraphs. “Are you always interested to where your customer comes from?”
“Not usually. People who come here are mostly our friends. We’re not that kind of bookstore on the first 10 pages of Google Search Results when you type ‘Fremantle Must Visit’ or ‘Oz Hidden Gems’ so yeah, I just think maybe I can thank your friend for bringing us such a good luck, if I happen to know her.” He answered while browsing another rack and picked a paperback, “Here’s another interesting local piece, about the abandoned park,” I took it. ‘The Last Day I Saw The Ferris Wheel Spinning’ by Allambie Michael. “Allambie Michael. Cool name.” I skimmed through it, the book was mostly lines and greyscale version of Polaroid photos of the park when it had been active. The guy let a little laugh, “That’s me, actually. Nice to meet you.”
I laughed and shook his hand, “I’m Damai, nice to meet you too. Now tell me, do you put your books on every corner of this place to introduce yourself to every female customer?” “Oops, no. This way only applies to exceptional customer, and I think this is the last copy so you’re lucky,” he then grinned. “What does it mean?” I asked. “What? Exceptional? It’s my favorite substitution for extremely cute.” I laughed again and said, “No, your name. Allambie. Is it aboriginal?” “Yes, it means ‘peaceful place’.”
“My name is also an Indonesian word for ‘peace’.”
“What a coincidence.”
We both took a look at each other and smiled.