The doors at the bookstore remained open despite the dropping temperature that Tuesday morning. It didn’t bother me. Nothing really bothered me here, other than the dusty skeleton of an owner who occasionally slinks into appearance to share an outdated trope. I walk out from behind the counter and start shelving new releases. The movement would warm me up. Examining the cover of a title released today I admire the artwork, note the female author and head over to the New Fiction section. Internally, I recite the alphabet searching for the M’s and find the correct spot. This book would be facing out, my small act of gorilla activism. Books facing cover-out sell better than when just their spine is displayed. People’s natural instinct is to judge by covers. I favor facing out female authors when we have enough copies and I can shuffle the space needed to do so.
Scout & Scout in apartment 1R
Scout and Scout lived below us in the coach house we shared tucked behind a larger brick complex off of Racine avenue. They were there the day we moved in. As we hauled boxes and bags up the flight of wooden stairs we passed the old man sitting out front on the first floor apartment. He was resting on the furthest end of the porch observing us at work. When it was time for a break or at least some distraction we carried a box around the front path so we could come face to face with the man and introduce ourselves.
The Lieutenant's Substitute
I was ten, she was ten. I had been bestowed a task so grand, so important and majestic, I could not do it without her. The Safety Patrol Captain was out sick, I as Lieutenant was much more qualified for the captain job from the start, I would never be out sick, however I digress, that injustice is for another story. Captain Eric being absent for the day is in fact precisely what my tiny heart desired. An opportunity for me to shine.
The Ride to the Port
There was nothing organically growing, that is what made her heart ache. Nothing sprouted from the ground, no greeness, no growth nor envy. She thought of her parent’s pear trees, the lush fruit for her tongue, the oxygen released for her lungs, the slim but sturdy trunks to loop her hammock around for her body to rest. “North America’s little mango tree,” Lolo would note each time he visited from The Philippines. There was nothing like that where she was headed. There was slate, midnight, darkness that pulled her as it pulled the tides each day.
I remember the day Mother Earth had finally had enough. She no longer would stand for the abuse. It all happened quite quickly, perhaps she had been preparing. Greta tried to warn us but we didn’t listen and Mother Earth grew desperate. The final day when she walked out the door came and no one was spared.