This week, Jamie took up a new sport called Hurling. It has nothing to do with throwing up, and apparently if you make that joke, they get to slash you with their wooden death axes, so just don’t. The sport looks totally sweet (if the Crystal Method doesn’t get you the shorts totally will) and I might go out for a practice, too, but I didn’t for the first one.
While Jamie was gone, I watched three episodes of “Say Yes To The Dress” on Netflix (see: previous post) and decided I didn’t want to die on our couch, so I got up and went for a walk.
Old Town Pocatello is a great place, not only because it’s adorable, but because it fools you into believing you could be living in a bigger city when you really just live in Pocatello. This is not only because you will pass shoeless men who you believe may have stolen your wallet, but also because it has kitschy little boutiques and shops. One such shop is The Walrus and Carpenter book store, which is a great place because the only commercial book store in town is a Walden Books in the Sad Mall, which is generally a place I try to avoid.
I wandered into Walrus and Carpenter looking for a new book. I was recently the last person on earth to finish “Bossy Pants” (which I did purchase from Sad Mall) and wanted something a little heavier for my next literary endeavor. So when I pushed through the creaky front door and a sunglassed man who looks like my step-dad asked, “Can I help you find something?” I said, “Um, yes! ‘The Brothers Karamozov?'” because I like the feeling of not finishing something I start.
Phantom step-dad, or Will, led me down an alley of ramshackle book shelves lit by coil bulbs in shadeless floor lamps. IKEA was jealous. The shelves weren’t marked with categories like “Fiction” or “History” or “Fishing Self-Help” but Will took me straight to the spot where Dostoyevsky chills, and pulled me out two different prints of the book.
“Good choice,” he said, “And these are both new!” This was strange because it doesn’t look like anything in Walrus and Carpenter is new. Books are stacked so high and crammed into so many nooks that you feel like if you sneeze, you could be covered by an avalanche of pages. A guy did sneeze while I was in there, and there was no avalanche, so don’t be scared if you go.
I wandered around a bit and picked up “Infinite Jest” as well. Feeling sufficiently pompous, I walked to the front of the store where Will was singing bluegrass with several other people plucking banjos and guitars beside him. Everyone in there looked like the books there: Gray-yet-colorful. When they stopped, I looked at a grizzly dude with a scraggly beard and said, “So like, where do I pay for these?” He seemed confused and Will came over to help me out.
Will rang me up and asked if I was a writer. I said I was, and regrettably forgot to tell him about THIS BLOG I WRITE, which is why I’ll never be successful. It was then I realized that I didn’t have my wallet and panicked.
“Oh wow, I. For some reason? I don’t have my wallet? That’s so weird I thought I had it…” I stuttered.
“It’s okay. Take the books. What’s your phone number? You can bring the money back whenever,” Will said.
“Um, I, okay,” I said and flew out the door.
“That damn shoeless man!” I thought as I scurried down Main Street. He stole my wallet right out of my purse that was securely closed and in front of my body! How did I not even notice!??!
But when I got back to the apartment, I found it sitting on the floor where my purse once was. Jamie was back and on the couch, and I made him walk back to the store with me to pay.
Back in the store, Will got awesome. He told us that he’s super glad to have us in town and that we should go on a canoeing trip with him on the Snake River on the reservation. He says his canoe usually only capsizes once when he goes, but that’s okay because he has a life jacket. And cases of beer float, right? But no one’s ever died or anything, so we should come back some weekend and get him and all go together. “Because summer in Idaho is paradise,” Will says.
Promising we’d do something of the sort, we left. Jamie got physically nervous about the prospect of imaginary capsizing and I got overly excited. I’m pretty sure Will is going to be right.