Day 360 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project, and I just like to say, "Back...to the future!" with the cadence and pause of Christopher Lloyd. Other titles for today's entry might as easily be "Back to Work" or "Our Town." Our town is still heaped with snow, but the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and the streets have been plowed, or most of them, even in the neighborhoods.
It's still a snow day for the schools, though, because the country roads are still drifting, and not all the "suburban" neighborhoods have been plowed, so the school buses can't get through. And the cold is a factor. But it's back to work for me, even if we have no customers, which is likely, as the street parking ban is still in effect till Friday noon. On Tuesday, before the parking ban started at noon, we had two customers, for $15 in total sales for the day!
One woman bought three copies of Our Town, by Thornton Wilder, because her student teacher is going to have the class read it, and they were three short. I was thrilled we had three! And by further coincidence, Thornton Wilder just walked into the Shakespeare & Company bookshop in the book I am reading, by Sylvia Beach, Paris proprietor.
And let me just say that yesterday I was drooling about possibly rigging my life somehow to stay at the Sylvia Beach Hotel in Oregon, at the Poets on the Coast conference being run by poets Kelli Russell Agodon and Susan Rich in September. Sigh... I get various brochures about writing conferences in exotic places, some warm, this one perched above a beach.... Well, we'll see.
Back to the present. (And the other customer bought a $3 ex-library anthology of science fiction stories, muttering to himself, and sometimes to me, but he was charming, if a little off-putting also, and clearly a science fiction aficionado and collector.)
Back to the past. I had forgotten that Thornton Wilder was also an actor. How can I forget these things?! Here he is as Mr. Antrobus in The Skin of Our Teeth. (As I recall, the world gets covered in ice in that play.) And he played the Stage Manager in Our Town. And here's another thing I forgot, or never knew. Our Town was inspired by Gertrude Stein's novel, The Making of Americans. I wonder when/if that will come up in the book I am reading, as Beach does talk about Stein and other intersections and influences. However, on page 111, she has just let Thornton Wilder walk off to the rue Christine, "that is, Steinwards."
Soon, I must go upstairs, that is, breakfastwards.
So I leave you with Michael J. Fox, playing the guitar, and one of my other favorite lines from Back to the Future, uttered by Huey Lewis, of Huey Lewis and the News, a rock and roll band:
"You must change your life," said Rilke. So that's what I keep doing. I worked as an actor, wrote for an encyclopedia, edited a literary magazine, shelved and retrieved materials in several libraries, walked beans, and taught college English courses. Now I write & edit as a freelancer, direct plays, blog "eight days a week," study the random, and listen to birdsong.