He looked oddly familiar as he came to greet me. I must have looked like a drowned rat. It was sunny when I left the hotel so I certainly did not expect a torrential downpour. Thank God for this refuge, this dark, dusty antique bookstore cluttered with artifacts and tattered spines.
He sounded familiar, too, like Hemingway. Not that I had ever heard Hemingway’s voice, I was two when he died, but I had read it. “What sort of adventure would you like?” “Where would you like to go?” “Whom would you like to meet?” He asked with brief, straight-forward questions, the smell of alcohol on his breath.
As he led me to the back of the store, past the room from which he had emerged, I glanced through the half-opened door. There was a card table. And people. And empty bottles strewn about. Had I interrupted a poker game?
Wait, was that James Joyce? And TS Elliot? And F. Scott Fitzgerald? Playing poker in the back room of an antique bookstore in sleepy Horton Bay?
“To answer your questions, sir, I don’t think I want a book. I just want a seat at your table!”