Ok, it's happening. I've been here long enough that Time is fucking with my history. When I walk past Monroe and Wabash in the future, I'll think, oh, SuperCrown Books used to be there. That's where I met most of my friends. That's where I took the first job that led to the path that led me to where I am now, good and bad, kinda like the mouth of the Nile River, a huge landmark in my personal history of Chicago.
I stopped in at Crown last night around 6pm for something to read on my train ride home. Behind the counter a couple of kids were goofing off just the way we use to do on the night shift, leafing through magazines, leaning on any available surface, including each other, talking about how the store was closing down and where they would work next. When I heard that I actually felt sad. I think it was my first real experience with nostalgia. I told them I used to work there and asked where the head manager was going. One of them said he had a job at a Barnes & Noble somewhere and I could tell he wanted to say something more about him (maybe about what a pompous ass he is) but we both just kinda snickered instead. And as I paid for my book (Jeffrey Steingarten's the Man Who Ate Everything) he asked me if I had moved on to "bigger and greater things."
When he gave me my receipt, he winked and struck an exaggerated pose like the Fonz or maybe Beck, giving me two thumbs up and said, "employee discount!"previous next