“Sounds Like Heaven”

It’s summer.  My library card is in my pocket. I’m walking to the library. I’m nine or ten.  Down Batchelder St, onto Shore Pkwy, past Brown St, Haring and onto Nostrand, across Shore Pkwy North of the Belt, then past Voorhies, Ave Z, Ave Y, Ave X….

I read the back covers, look at the cover pictures, stack up the books, check them out. The librarian puts my gray and white library card into the pocket in the back of the book and I head home.

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My house is two short blocks, not avenue blocks, from Patsy’s General Store. The cashier is waiting for me with a 14 ounce bag of plain mnms.

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I carry my stack of library books and giant bag of mnms up to the second floor of our gigantic old house, climb through the window across the fire escape onto our “balcony” covered by sheet metal. The sheet metal seams are sealed with tar, soft and melting in the hot sun.  I read my books, one after another, eating my mnms.

Reading endlessly, eating unlimited candy on a high top roof in the summer.

Heaven.

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