I went to Whitlock’s over the weekend. It’s a converted chicken coop and barn that’s home to thousands of used books. The floors slant, the books are full of dust, the people who work there use pencils and brown bags to tally your purchase, and on the counter by the door is a hen-shaped candy dish made of milk glass that holds slightly stale gum drops. The place was my sanctuary when I was in high school, and it’s where I found many books that would shape me. It was up for sale a few years ago and I dreamed of buying it, and began worrying about the slanting roof and floors as if I’d already owned it. It’s only one of my escape fantasies. Thought probably the best or at least right up there with becoming a powerful Hollywood screenwriter and living at the Chateau and hiring twins in matching stewardess outfits with their own fold away dancers’ poles.
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