Stray Writings

(XXV)

My Saturdays are best spent falling in love with women in bookstores.
Sure, I wake up and I read and wonder at the amount I have slept from the night before; I work a little and I run; I come home waiting for that burst of energy. I worry that I’m dying. And then I suit up and head to the bookstore.
Once there, I wander the stacks, drink in the spines and the legs, and saunter up–books I will not purchase under my arm–and I smile. There she is: glasses frame and solid colored shirt, hair a hurricane in stasis, a slight smirk on her face. I try to make small talk, but generally I stutter and just mumble my need for coffee and no, thank you, I do not need room for cream. And then I sit down, opening the books, sipping at the rim of the cup.
Today, reading Bolano. I read a sentence and immediately made a small noise and pulled up my phone; I had to text this to someone. “It’s probably clear by now that literature has nothing to do with national prizes and everything to do with a strange rain of blood, sweat, semen, and tears.” What a wonderful sentence. The use of the oxford comma is certainly energizing, but it’s the word semen that makes that sentence–and so many others. Of course, it brings up images, but also the majestic Neutral Milk Hotel lyric, “Semen stains the mountaintop.”
I peak over the book; she is brewing another pot of coffee and her face seems so perfectly framed by her glasses; I watch as she goes to pull two books off of the shelves and look at her ass. Large, but not huge; cupped in grey jeans.
I get up and receive a refill, leaving a tip in the jar as if this will show that not only am I well read, but also wealthy and caring!
Finally, I just sigh and make a book purchase. For what is more exciting than a new book, another addition to the shelf, words upon words that I will read and ingest and become before coming back to it in small moments later and later.
I smile at her one more time and walk into the waiting late autumn sunlight, wondering how the rest of my Saturday can possibly compare.

Kevin Crispin

What do you think is up to my right in the picture? A cob web? Probably a cob web. Or maybe it’s my Beatles records on top of my air conditioner. It’s certainly not fresh, new wainscoting.


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