Useful

I was having one of those days. I’m tempted to say a “bad” day. I won’t, though, because the day was fine, as always. It’s just that I kept getting this lump in my throat and my eyes would tear up and there I’d be, weepy and useless.

I’ve come not to mind weepy. It feels completely natural, not to mention overwhelming anyway, and I don’t resist it when it shows up. I can’t help thinking that I have to be useful, though, even that I ought to be more useful than ever. I have children and responsibilities that go along with them, even if they’re taller than I am. Their hunting and gathering skills are coming along nicely, and meanwhile I’m still vomiting into their mouths so they don’t starve to death.

I found a good distraction, something that would occupy my mind and maybe give me an idea for From the Edge. It’s a quotation I’ve had in my collection for years about “the Negroes,” allegedly from William Faulkner’s The Bear, that attempts to explain the narrator’s perceptions and judgments about them. That’s the ticket—I could verify the quote.

I don’t know where I found the quotation, and although I have a lot of faith in the anarchy of the online world, I’d feel better if I could see the actual words or a reliable attribution on paper in a real book.

I could go to the corporate bookstore in town, except it’s not so much a bookstore as a game-gadget-coffee shop-book store, and since Faulkner hasn’t been on anybody’s bestseller list this century and when he was it wasn’t for The Bear, I feel I’m unlikely to find what I’m looking for there.

I love Lyon Books, on 5th Street across from the plaza, a terrific bookstore for its size, and there’s a chance I could score there, but you could get every book in the building on one wall of The Bookstore in downtown Chico, and that’ll be my first stop.

Like a lot of us, The Bookstore is in money trouble, and the thought that soon it might not be there doesn’t bear thinking about. The Bookstore an intellectual compost pile and recycling at its best. I seldom favor one business over another, and generally I oppose public money aiding and abetting anybody’s capitalist venture, but this time I think we should fire the cop with the most citizen complaints and give the money to The Bookstore. Crime’s down—no problem. Help The Bookstore by giving them money, in person at 118 Main Street or via www.indiegogo/ilovebooks. By the way, they had what I was looking for.

Posted Thursday, January 17th, 2013 under appreciation, Chico, expectation, Uncategorized.

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