Friday, October 23, 2009


I close my eyes while I walk across the parking lot. I wonder how long I can keep them closed without tripping. I open them before I get to the curb and step up onto the sidewalk. The book store has big glass windows and a sliding glass door that squeaks. I walk in and see the books set up on racks in a room where they seem out of place, wrong. Escalators go down to an underground level, except they don’t go down, they just stay still, blocked off by boards, and the underground level is empty and abandoned.
Two men sit at the cash register.
I ask them, “Do you use the bottom floor for anything?”
“What’s that?”
“Do you use the bottom level for anything?”
“Oh no, that hadn’t been used for years.”
“Fell behind code,” the other adds.
“You’dve been 10 or 11 since it was used for anything. The owner won’t spend the money to bring it up to code. Used to be a fair, for kids.”
Banners for the fair still hang overhead.
The kids are gone and I’m the only one in the store besides the two at the cash register. We’re surrounded by racks of books on all sides. The light is poor and it’s hard to read the titles. I wander around until one of the men calls out that the store is closing, and I haven't found anything, and I walk out.

No comments:

Post a Comment