let no man speak
It has been a wretched week. Black cats crossed my path, a man missing a leg turned up on my doorstep claiming to live in my apartment, the car which I have the use of declined to start, and the rain – normally a solace – has almost seemed a blight. For consolation I turned to books and bookstores, going to a bookstore I had never before visited; perhaps that was my error – trying to find comfort in something new. It was one of the those bookshops built out from a house, which are usually personable, if slightly dotty. Here, though, was a dying store – all the scholarly books thirty years out of date, anything truly collectible or even readable long since sold. Each row of shelves was shallow and left the browser at a polished and paneled dead end, from which one backed away, still feeling trapped. It was a cleanly place, like the house museum of some forgotten litterateur, an impression heightened by the vestiges of taste in the remaining books, relicts of a personality no longer able to cherish them. I picked up a copy of G.B. Harrison’s Elizabethan Journal – the only thing remotely interesting – out of something more like politeness than desire and returned to the busy street and the rain.