On Friday I went down to the Crossroads area for Frst Friday, to walk around and see some art. There was a guy wearing a giant foam bowling pin costume. There was a small herd of Ren Fest expatriates, wearing tights and moss and tendrils and fairy wings and strange patches of color on their face. They were standing smack in the middle of 18th street, outside Y J's Snack Bar. I thought they might do something, but after watching them stand idly for a minute, I moved on.
There was a guy parked further down the street selling books out of the back of his car. I took a look, and bought "On the road, the original scroll" by Jack Kerouac for a dollar. I also bought Ulysses and The Dubliners by James Joyce. I want to put Ulysses up in my writing corner as a challenge to myself ---to read it, to understand it. I know someone who has said they won't read Ulysses until they read Homer's Odyssey, and perhaps I should do the same. Jim Morrison of the Doors was the only kid in class who read it and understood it, according to Jim Morrison's English teacher. I also bought a book about a woman who goes into the wilderness and fends for herself out there. But it's not such a remarkable story. I know a wilderness where women are doing this all the time. It's called "marriage." Baddah-boom! That was a joke. Now that I have married again, I have license to make these kinds of jokes, you see.
I went down to gape at art galleries, and ended up with a pile of books. I'm such a librarian. I was walking along, holding my stack of books ---the hard-cover copy of Ulysses is really thick ---when a girl stopped me on the street. "Books!" she called out. "I love books! Where did you get those?" "There's a guy selling books out of the back of his car," I told her. "Get out of dodge!" the girl shouted. She might have slurred her words a little. She was holding a beer, and looked like she might have been more at home in the Power and Light district. I figured she was just having fun with me. She asked me where the bookseller was, and I told her where he was parked. "I'm there with bells on!" she hollered, and turned up the street.
Now I say things like "Let's get out of dodge," but I was surprised to hear a young woman her age talk that way, and show even mock interest in books. It was most peculiar. But fitting for a First Friday.