This afternoon I stopped at Second Story Books after work. I browsed the shelves and picked up a couple of John Burdett mysteries and a mass market Kurt Vonnegut. Scrolling through the fiction section with my eyes, I fixated on a book titled The Cheese Monkeys by Chip Kidd. Today’s the birthday of my coworker Rob and he’s a pretty huge fan of cheese. Which is why I fixated on it.
I thought about picking up the book for him, a weird birthday gift, but I liked the cut of the cover, so I added it to my own pile, made the purchase, and jumped on the L1. (I’m a selfish bastard).
Which is one of the many reasons I love Second Story – the L1 stops right across the street, does not go through the traffic mess that is Dupont Circle proper, cuts out the congested parts of Connecticut Avenue, and gets me home in under ten minutes.
Anyway, flipping through Cheese Monkeys on the short ride home, I came across a neatly folded, hand written letter. I’m not sure if it’s a genuine love letter, or an interactive part of the book (think Joe Meno’s The Boy Detective Fails), but it’s kind of heartbreaking, honestly. I wonder if one party wrote the letter for the other, tucked it into the book, but the recipient, for whatever reason, never saw it. Needed a few bucks, sold the book. Was moving, sold the book. The book was in his bag, it was stolen, the book was sold.
Life is full of mysteries. I wonder if Mark ever knew it existed. Wonder if somehow they made a life together.
And feeling kind of dirty for being privy to the letter — certainly not something ever intended for a third party. (And here I go blogging about it).