Christopher returns the facing the veiled woman once more whom is Gabrielle, proprietor of the Navel…
Christopher: What else is in the Navel besides the poultry deities and Damian’s art?
Gabrielle: That’s where the weird and the bizarre truly kick in. People find whatever they’re searching for on the shelves even if they don’t know what they’re searching for.
Christopher: Yes, I’ve noticed that particular weirdness. A doll or a cup appears when a particular customer walks in, a doll or a cup I’ve never noticed before. The customer is drawn to them, even if they don’t know why.
Gabrielle: And we, the servants of the Navel are drawn to the area of the store where the item is, once that customer is within our walls.
Gabrielle: Servants. Employees. Whichever word you prefer. We are there to serve the customers and the store.
Christopher: You’re the proprietor. Don’t you own the store?
Gabrielle: Yes, but the store also owns me.
Christopher: Damian thought our purpose was to serve you. He was there to serve you, not the Navel.
Gabrielle: Damian believed I was wasting my time in the Navel, serving customers who’d willingly thrown away a part of themselves, just waiting to give that part back in the form of some trinket.
Christopher: He wanted you to be greater than that. He wanted to be something greater.
Gabrielle: Greatness is overrated. Greatness means equally great mistakes. Much can be accomplished in small deeds and small things.
Christopher: You sound like someone who’s brushed against greatness before and turned away from it.
Gabrielle: There’s some truth to that. Greatness frightens me. It always had. It overwhelms and flattens everyone in its path like a natural disaster. I’d prefer to stick to what’s small and manageable, whatever I can accomplish at the Navel. (She cocks her head.) I wonder, though, if you weren’t getting restless, just as Damian did?
Christopher: No. I liked the Navel. I enjoyed the look of wonder people got when they found whatever they were looking for. Especially when it was followed by a smile.
Gabrielle: I know exactly what you mean.