I was early for the movie. I am always early for movies. At one time my friends and I were at least an hour early for every movie we went to see. On the West Coast my friends are never early for the movies. I am lucky now if we get to see the previews.

Next to the theater there is a used bookstore. It is a good way to kill some time while I am waiting for my friend. I love used bookstores. They are almost like looking through one of your friend’s collections. You never know what books will be there. It is not like the huge bookstores where they are going to have everything ever. I wish there was someone there to tell me what he or she thought of the book.

I walked around the store for a little while. It seems that most of the writers I really enjoy are in the front part of the alphabet. I was kicking around between B and F. I was looking for writers like Douglas Coupland, Po Bonson, and Richard Ford.

I picked up a copy of Raymond Carver's Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?: Stories. I thought about the last Raymond Carver book I read. It must have been almost five years ago. Cathedral, the title story in the last of his book I read, is my favorite short story of all time. Just thinking about those stories makes me almost cry. The words are so beautiful, so simple. It is amazing to just think of them.

It struck me that when I read Cathedral I had to really slow down my brain. I had to get rid of all the distractions and just read the book. I had to read the words one at a time. I had to be slow and read decisively. I could not just run over the top of the words. I had to pick each one of them up.

It is hard to remember the last time my mind slowed down that much. I looked at the book and flipped thought the pages. Most days my mind is going at maximum speed. I have not just sat down to read in a long time. Whenever I sit down with a book, something always stops me. Raymond Carver was not just sitting down to read. His books are letting myself go. I am so far away from that.

There is a stack of books in my apartment that I have not finished. I buy these books when I am at the book story. I start reading them, but I do not get very far. The book ends up getting lost in the clutter of my apartment. These books are a level of shame for me.

I buy the used copy of Raymond Carver's Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?. I tell myself that this book will not end up going unread. I tell myself that it will be good for me to slow my brain down every once in a while. The book store owner said nothing to me as I left the store.


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