Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Vanity Fair Magazine In A Book Store Café

Yesterday I went to a library
and then I walked through an arts and crafts store
and then I walked over to the building
where there used to be a Borders book store.

It’s empty now but it looks like someone
is remodeling the interior
to open as some new kind of business.

Looking inside where there used to be books
I didn’t miss the Borders store at all.

The only book store that I’ve ever missed
is a used book store up on the north side.

I don’t get up north much anymore so
I don’t even know if it is still there
but I used to live just a few blocks east
so I’d visit it once or twice a week.

All they sold were used books—no comic books
or movies or CDs or magazines
or any of the other worthless junk
used book stores always seem to sell these days.

Of all the book stores I’ve ever been in
that used book store from up on the north side
had the most respect for the books it sold.

Borders used to sell a lot of junk too.

Now they’re gone and they don’t sell anything.

Walking through the nearby arts and crafts store
in the paint section I met a woman
I know looking at watercolor paints.

She told me she was starting to work through
an instructional watercolor book
and the author suggested she purchase
a brown pigment but didn’t say which one.

“What do you think?” she asked me. “Raw Umber?
Burnt Umber? Sepia? Is one the best?”

I shook my head. “They’re all pretty,” I said.
I asked her, “Do you ever use Payne’s Gray?”

“I love Payne’s Gray,” she said. “And the book said
I should use Payne’s Gray to darken colors.”

I said, “Consider the Sepia then.
Sepia is a mixture like Payne’s Gray
but instead of being cool it is warm.
Payne’s Gray is blue mixed with a little black.
Sepia is brown and a little black.”

“I think Payne’s Gray is beautiful,” she said.
“I’ll give Sepia a try. I’m so glad
we bumped into each other. How do you
know these little details about the paints?”

I said, “I read all the little writing
in the tiny print on the paint labels.”

“You would!” she said. “Thank you for helping out.”

She used to go to Borders all the time
and sit in that little café they had
where you could read magazines and drink tea.

The last time that I’d met her in Borders
she’d been sitting in that little café
reading a Vanity Fair magazine.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Fluorescent Lights On A Book Of Shadows

Things Libraries Throw Away

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