We passed by two baskets of books labelled "50 cent basket” with an appropriately photographed photo of Fifty Cent, the rapper who holds a special place in my heart from listening to his hit "Magic Stick” back in middle school. Sweet, sweet memories of “scamming” boys, or in my case wishing that were so, flood back to me.
The bookstore smells of the familiar antique scent artifacts take on by sticking around long enough. This is like smelling gasoline, which I enjoy very much. When the scent meets my olfactory glands and tickles some pinpoint in my brain, it makes me think about childhood, or some other obscure time and place, a vague “better days.” I get depressed in a happy way. If only we can bottle these moments and come back later to smell them. It may be all the drinking i’ve done over the years, but I simply cannot will myself to record a scent. I can only be reminded of its familiarity when it meets my nose. And even then, it’s tough to picture precisely where it was first recorded.
Wiggling my way through the bookshelves, I see an old man chair. It looks just like the old man chair my sister and I refuse to let my mother throw out. The velvet chair sinks when you take a seat in just the same way and it’s color the unmistakable hue of cat diarrhea.
In one corner, there are several seemingly randomized items each giving a morsel of good or true advice courtesy of writer and essayist Flannery O'Conner: “All writers are local somewhere,” and “A good man is hard to find," among the counsel.
Every tight corner, cheekily labelled basket and overstuffed room deserves your attention. In the end, we purchase just one book. It isn't a book we're looking for or want to read. The cover contains a direct quote from earlier conversation. It's a homage to our superstition in universal signs and the firm belief that life imitates art in a cycle with no clear beginning or end.