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Yesterday, after a christening near the West Virginia line, Lorina's girlfriend, with the glow of her 24-hour baby delivering labor not only lighting the room but also being like a hundred shiny nickels in a sock (its a weapon now), swung that sap-sock with an innocent and sincere querying strength and hit Lorina right upside her head, which had already been lately reeling from the shattering numerical force of her girlfriends now with babies. She took the hit like a middle-weight contender while I looked on sucking all the juice out of a Heinekin bottle, and guarding my flank from the roving guest of honor, the projectile-vomiting newborn.

On the way home through Front Royal we finally found the elusive parking lot for that Bookstore and two years past my initial introduction to the store, entered. Of note on a shelf was an Anthony Burgess sandwiched by a Bukowski on one side and a Burroughs on the other. I picked up a used Russo, Risk Pool, for a buck, and a Straub/King collaboration, Black House, hardback, for two-fifty. Lorina got a couple for herself and I took the four books to a counter in the back and laid them down and was told to pay up front. Coming in I had not noticed a place nor a person to pay. I said to the woman, "there is an actual human-being up there?" She assured me there was and that that person would answer to the name, Susie.

As I walked to the front of the store with the itchy heat of embarrassment in my armpits, I thought, how nimrodic of me, is there an actual human...? What, may I ask, is up with that phrasing? What the hell did I mean by that? I get to the front and I see the L-shaped counter right near the door and how damn lucky for me, there is a cat lazed on the counter like is requisite for the independent bookstore but which I must have walked right on by upon entering. That, the cat, is what I could have meant by that, if only, I had in fact, been aware of the cat. I put my face into the cat's flank and said, Susie, hellooo, Susie? until the presumable Susie showed up from behind a curtain, told me the cat's name is Willa, and took my money in exchange for the books.
- jimlouis 8-15-2005 6:40 pm [link] [2 comments]