We’re up in Dungness Bay, on a vacation to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. As we were driving in, I saw the sign outside the Sequim Public Library, saying that they were having a book sale on Saturday. I knew I had to go.
So Saturday morning, after stopping at the Hurricane Coffee Company for breakfast (both of us), and coffee (me), we made our way to the little worn prefab annex behind the library. Tables outside the annex held boxes of books, under the shelter of plastic-sheeting roofs. There was a line to get inside, because according to the sign only 25 people were allowed in at a time.
The books outside were just one dollar a bag, so you could’ve gotten any number of Fern Michaels, Nicholas Sparks, or Debbie Macomber. I didn’t want any. I kept looking. I saw two copies of The Hunger Games, and I thought, why not? It seems fitting for a vacation at the beach in March. So I took one.
Then I saw a book that made me laugh. I handed it to Kyle, saying, “Look, Handsome, here’s a book for you!”
I wish I could have caught a photo of the smile on his face when he saw the title: American Negro Short Stories.
Of course Kyle was the only non-white person there. Everyone else was middle aged or older, white, the local people wearing sensible all purpose weather gear suitable for rain – which turned out to be a good idea because it started sprinkling just as we got there. Some of the people were dressed more upscale; later on when we were inside the annex, I saw a woman in black tights, knee-high boots, and a brown down coat with fur trim on the hood, of the kind I wish I could buy so I’d look more elegant, but I prefer layers.
After I found that book for Kyle, I kept browsing. One title struck my eye: The Good Divorce. I pulled it out.
Is it possible for divorce to be good? How could you divorce and have it be good? I picked up the book and showed it to Kyle. I opened it to a random page and scanned a header or two, read couple of sentences. They seemed sensible at the time but now I couldn’t tell you what they said.
We waited in the sprinkling rain to get inside the annex. Right away I saw a shelf with a few memoirs, so I picked out three.
I found the science fiction books, and told Kyle where they were. The books inside were supposed to be more desirable than the books outside, but he didn’t see anything he wanted. And, as he noted sardonically when he heard me dictating this, American Negro Short Stories was outside.
We looked around some more, but didn’t see anything else we wanted.
I paid three dollars for the five books (I’d put The Good Divorce back where I’d found it). The woman who took our money was the only person of color there besides Kyle.
By the time we left, it had stopped sprinkling.