In Earnest

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Book Light

She loved reading books, and not just reading them, but researching what to read next, talking about her reads with her friends and family, and prowling book stores with her book list in her hand. Non-fiction, fantasy, young adult, historic novels, mysteries…they were all on her list. She read everyday, often reading four or five books a week. Finding a new author that she enjoyed was her greatest pleasure.

Then her mother died, her mother, who’d always encouraged her to read, introducing her to The Three Detectives series and Nancy Drew Mysteries, her mother, whose idea of a day out was taking her girls to the public library, where each was allowed to check out one book.

With her mother gone, she no longer wanted to read. It was like her book light had gone out, and would not come back on.

Floofbelly Elegy

Floofbelly Elegy (floofinition) – collection of memoirs by housepets, the people they lived with, and their values.

In use: “In one chapter of Floofbelly Elegy, a calico named Agent 86 told of how she liked to let people pet her, drop onto the ground and roll on her back, exposing her belly, and then attack people when they tried rubbing her belly.”

The Book Store Dream

There was so much dreaming last night.

One memorable part involved a back door where I checked on books. I don’t know why I checked on books there, but I would go out and look for books. It seemed to be by a garage door in my house. Returned surveys about books began arriving there. I struggled to understand what they were. My wife and some friends were in another part of the house. I took it to them but they were talking about other things and didn’t pay any attention.

I learned that the front of the house was a book store, but someone else owned it. I realized that the surveys were probably due to them but were being delivered to me instead. I found the owner, a woman, and told her that her surveys were being sent to me and that she needed to do something about that if she wanted to receive them. Another man, her employee, started talking to a group of people about the survey, and what they hoped to get from it. He was talking about the disappointment they had because so few had been returned. I interrupted him and told him they were being delivered to me instead of them, and gave them a stack of them.

Then I discovered an old Wizard of Oz DVD. Recalling how I’d come to have it, I went to return it to its correct place and discovered an entire stash of them.

Nobody else seemed to understand me, frustrating me. My wife kept leaving the back door open, and didn’t pay attention to my complaints about it. I finally told her that she couldn’t have those keys any longer. She and her friends decided to leave. She went to leave by the back door, discovered it was locked, and asked me if she could have the keys. That was a catalyst for sky-high frustration and irritation. I went through the same complaints and statements as before. She then left through the front, but still didn’t seem to understand.

Then I heard the book store owner, her employee, and several customers talking about the survey. The book store owner complained that they weren’t getting surveys back. The customers said they’d returned them. I intervened, explaining again they’d been sent to the wrong place, and that they were coming to me instead of the book store. I told the store owner that needed to be changed if she wanted to receive the survey. As I was now fed up with trying to get them to understand, I told her I’d no longer be an intermediary for ensuring her surveys reached her.

I left, but immediately regretted being spiteful. Outside, I walked down a large green hill. The hill was full of desks arranged like tombstones and grave markers. No one was at any of them. My desk, I knew, was at the bottom of the hill, where I was headed. As I was almost there, an old female friend, who I haven’t seen in twenty-plus years, joined me, talking and commiserating with me as we walked.

Reaching my desk, I sat in my chair and leaned forward in thought. She sat in a chair beside my desk, and then leaned forward and wrapped her arms around me. She was talking as she did, being very sympathetic, and then began kissing me.

The dream took an sharp, erotic turn after that.

Mixed

You understand the expression, “mixed blessings”? Or do you know, “bittersweet” or prefer, “good and bad”. That’s how it is for us as we’re mourning and celebrating.

Our favorite book store is closing down. Yes, The Bookwagon will no longer be, and we’ll no longer see Karl.

We’d been suspicious that something like this was happening. We know some personal stuff that’d happened to Karl that I don’t wish to share. His hours had become erratic. He seemed worn, tired, and preoccupied. Suspecting he might be closing the doors on his business a few weeks ago, we asked him. He said, “No.”

Perhaps the situation has changed. Perhaps Karl was trying not to close but has changed his mind. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps… He enjoys reading books and being a bookseller. Closing the book store is the bad, the bitter, the depressing part of my initial rhetorical question.

On the other end, books are all being discounted, and we have a substantial from buying books and then trading them in for credit. Consequently, we bought six books, including three hard backs and one new book, and paid three dollars and seventy-five cents.

So, that’s great. We have reading material on hand should we get snowed in. (Well, we always have several stacks of books to be read and a few being read, and several that we enjoy so much that we keep them on hand to read again. Not having a book on hand wasn’t actually a problem.)

I’d rather, though, have Karl and The Bookwagon open rather than saving a few dollars on a book. We have three months to collect more books and say our good-byes, and he said that he’ll still be around.

You know that it won’t be the same.

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