Vania Zouravliov, that’s his name! My favourite artist. I wanted his book that time… very badly in fact. I tipped my little coin purse upside down and counted all my money. I was short twenty dollars!
She lies on her stomach by the fire with her sketchpad open, lazy pencil strokes lining the paper with each flick of her wrist.
Oh, poor you, he says sympathetically. Do you know what sweetheart, we’ll get you that book.
Thanks baby. She smiles at him then returns to her sketching.
I’ll tell you how, he continues, snapping his laptop shut.
She looks up, bemused. Pencil down, chin propped in hand. I’m list-en-ing, she says in a singsong voice.
Okay, so here’s what you do. You go into the bookstore and you buy a cheap paperback novel. Smile sweetly and make small talk with the people at the register. Turn on the charm, just like the way you do when you’re trying to flog me your doodles. ‘Hey look! I just drew these. What do you think? D’you wanna buy it?’
Then, he says, after you’ve finished paying, wander over to where the book is, pick it up and just flick through it, looking as if you didn’t have a care in the world.
He lets out a small chuckle, leaning forward.
Then my dear, you get as close as you can to the entrance without attracting any attention. And… you bolt! As fast as you can, down the escape route that we would have planned the day before. I’ll be in the car waiting so as soon as you jump in, I’ll put my foot down, hard, on the accelerator, speed off to somewhere quiet before we stop and I’ll look at you and say, can you believe you did that? How does it feel? And you’ll be sitting there, your adrenalin pumping, your heart racing, hugging the book against your chest, saying, ‘oh my God! I can’t believe I just did that!’ Then do you know what I’d do?
What - would - you - do? She says in-between peals of laughter.
I’d take you out, fuck you up against the car.
— Lang Leav