Tales From The Move: Used Books

posted in: Day In The Life 1
Ay, papi. Oof.
Ay, papi. Oof.

Outside: New York City.

Inside: New York City.

Alone, because Yuri isn’t here, yet. I wish he was. Baby? I wish you were.

And I’m pretty sure I’m a cliche, a thirtysomething woman, transplanted, enchanted and terrified by New York City tonight. (I’ll have you know I’ve seen exactly 0.75 episodes of Sex & The City — and that estimate may be generous. I believe the show has something to do with a woman who blogs or writes a column inside Manhattan and has a lot of shoes. I do have a lot of shoes, but they are mostly in storage in Chicago. There is no room in Manhattan for lots of shoes unless you have lots of money and I do not have lots of money. I have a little money, and that is for rent, now. Goodbye, shoes.)

I saw a boa constrictor (anaconda? python?) snake today, curled around a girl’s shoulders; a snake handler was selling pictures with it at The Cube at Astor Place. That beast was so astonishingly thick and long, I gasped out loud when I saw it, nearly fell over a waiting Yellow Cab. I saw a rainshower and a sunbeam, both through the tree that bows over 2nd and St. Mark’s. I saw a girl so pretty my teeth hurt. She was getting coffee, wearing a short skirt with daisies on it. I thought these exact three thoughts in rapid succession: 1) there is nothing more powerful on this earth than a beautiful girl; 2) fashion/perception is everything; 3) New York will fall in a terrorist attack, hurricane, or contagion and this girl and me, we are as good as dead.

So I’m fitting in!

This post was supposed to be a Tale From The Move because I need more time to get my New York thoughts in order. It’s all too raw and green, like an East Village wheatgrass shot. Better to go back to Chicago.

The laundry room in my (former) building has these cute bookshelves that serve as a resident library. Leave a book or magazine, take a book or magazine. Isn’t that charming? I think so. I was a dutiful, silent member of this library from the day I moved into the building, leaving excellent magazines (e.g., Vogue, New York, Harper’swhenever I washed muh’ skivvies. I took stuff, too, but for the most part, I was giving more than I got. Though I scored decent magazines that I would have never gotten on my own (Town & Country, House Beautiful, etc.), the vast majority of the books available were not so much my taste. but I rarely got any good books, except the time I spied an early edition of Bellow’s Dangling Man; I still have that copy and yes, it’s currently in storage.

When I packed up to move out, I had a big box of books that I decided would be my gift to the building. When I took my box up to the 20th floor, however, I had to make room. Some of the titles I decided to uh, liberate, included Danielle Steele’s clearly impossible-to-resist The Klone & I; Robert James Waller’s lesser-known Puerta Vallarta Squeeze; and what looked to be Dan Brown’s entire catalog. Ew. I put those all near recycle bin. They had been there for over two years!

Here are a few titles I left for the good people of [REDACTED]:

Fraud, David Rakoff (Doubleday, 2001)
The Chinese Opium Wars, Jack Beeching (Mariner Books, 1977)
Marriage & Morals, Bertrand Russell (Liveright, 1970)
…and a copy of Madame Bovery and many others I can’t recall, now.

You’re welcome.

(And I slightly miss you.)

  1. Taylor
    | Reply

    I pared down my books a couple of years ago… After going to school for three degrees (2 bachelors and a masters– I looove school, and was lucky enough to have my masters on a full scholarship– ok done stroking my ego), I realized I had every single textbook on top of every single book from preschool to high school (Baby Sitters Club anyone?). So I went down to about a sixth of what I had… It was quite the process. Books are friends, but they are heavy friends. And Wikipedia is a free weightless friend. What I’m trying to say in no less than a thousand words is that I understand your pain. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.