Conversations with Christopher: Gabrielle, Part 3

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.

Christopher: Servants?

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. 

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