Following a cobblestone path downtown, I am drawn into a religious store, where I inquire about a rosary bracelet. I found an antique one in Sheridan’s many moons ago, back when it was in Downtown Crossing. Now, a pair of nuns mulls around a hot store trying in vain to find a similar model. We don’t have any luck and I leave empty-handed.
I do not notice until I am almost past it, but between the tall buildings a space has opened up and rows of books stand to my left. It’s like a bookstore has risen out of the cement, splitting a brick building in two, raw red clay piled high on each side of the new space.
This is the sort of magic that can happen in Boston. It is a miracle of Dickensian proportion and style, recalling some lost Curiosity Shop or run-down library. The faded perfume of Miss Havisham rots in these corners, and the dusty pages of musty books refuse to yield their own secrets.
I will save this space in my head for later. Something else is driving me on, impelling me deeper into the city. What I am looking for is not here, but it might be someday. I will come back. I will return. I will seek this out again…