How do these things happen, that one summer day, we drove into Boulder Junction? We were all irritable and so stopped at a flea market in the community center parking lot. If I hadn't been in such a foul mood would the flea market have been any less depressing, hollow eyed people thinking someone was going to buy their useless junk? It began to rain and some of the vendors scurried to cover their wears with moldy tarps while others, including a woman selling books and old photographs, did not.
I ditched the family and ducked into the community center where I found a library, a cheery room stuffed with books and manned by two ancient citizens who were irked that people were browsing. In the hallway outside the restrooms was a shelf of library discards for sale, Harlequins and outdated nonfiction and children's books with disturbing illustrations. I thought there must be something worth buying, but there wasn't. I used the restroom, and when I came back out, I gave the shelf a second chance, and there on top was a green hardcover, "Old Love" on the spine. I took it down and studied the back cover, a photograph of an old man wearing a suit and holding a book, a glint of humor in his light eyes. Issac Bashevis Singer. I bought it for fifty cents and kept it by my bedside.