Sunday, September 06, 2015

Interlude: Brazier's Bookstore

Humanity might never resolve its association with objects. We hang onto trinkets. We travel to inert places where somethings-ever-been. Bookstores, secondhand or otherwise, had already lured my youthful mind in a way that the adult mind could not help but to follow in tune. The books. The smell. The every-corner-a-wonder. The chess book on the opening style you'd always wanted. The tome on a history seldom delved. The guidebook to lost languages. The classic to the unknown religion. Musty must-haves, five to fifty dollars in your hand.

It didn't change from the bookstores of my youth that my grandparents took me to, or the later discoveries of my independent self. Jason's bookstore crossed that boundary but Brazier's bookstore on Dominion Road was strictly a wandering-in of my indulgent 20s. Brazier's name meant nothing. But the window display was well chosen. Often the blue old lady as there. Often the young man. The old lady had a sharp eye, often dismayed at the growing collection of books from the rusting of time that gathered on the teeth of her shelves. The younger man, Graham, a little less commited but no less in love with the printed word, thought not about the calcifying crust of literature in the sho, but keener to direct you away from the dross.

Graham died the other day. I get death more these days. His mother died barely years ago. He's a guy I met who died, from a shop down the road. He also was lead-man, in a band, Hello Sailor, whose only memorable song to my brain, Blue Lady, is accessible on Baidu music freely in China. Listening to it now. Sounds of a man that I met but barely ever heard. Baidu barely remembers at the best of time and yet recalls a band from New Zealand, from decades ago.

He's a reader. Or was. He talks but his words are just an echo. Because he's dead. He's no longer even an object but once-places and recalled moments are all that's left. If anything it clarifies fame and art. It lingers. And it fades. Blue lady.

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