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Beacon’s Closet is open. There seem to be many women staring at the store’s window, and I think No, I’ll check it out another time, come on Alice, you can’t spend all of your income in vintage clothes! You don’t have enough space in your closet! And then, a small paper cup in my hands with a red gorilla painted on it, I make my way toward the cross between 5th and Lincoln Place. Yes, my friend Joanne must be home from work by now. I should stop by and say Ciao! She loves practicing her Italian with me, and I like going over for a chat. But what time is it exactly? The sun light is weak, and a cold breeze is blowing down 5th. It must be late afternoon. Jo isn’t answering her doorbell. She is probably still at work. Well, I’ll step by another time. Maybe I should go home now, I’m starting to get cold and I really don’t want to fall sick. I have to work tomorrow and I can’t skip a day. So I slowly walk towards President Street, and I’m still on the left sidewalk.
My paper cup is empty now, but I keep holding it as I don’t know what to do with my hands. Hands can’t be meaningless and dangle ridiculously at your side. So, while Left pretends to be busy holding an Italian blend, Right searches into the darkness of my bag. I never carry much on me, for I like to feel free from burdens. But here’s the biggest burden of all, a huge and heavy book that Right seems to be proud of digging out. What is it? What’s the title of this book? It must be some story I have to read for work, but I can’t really focus the letters and the image on the cover.
It isn’t dark yet, so it must not be so late. I realize I still have some time for myself. At the cross with President, I keep going. The Cat Clinic is open. I can swear I see this weird guy entering the door with a miniature poodle, dressed with a pink sweater that looks just alike the one its human friend is wearing. But as I look through the window, I see no sign of human or animal presence. The place is empty. In a few seconds I reach Connecticut Muffin and I feel weird---I could have bet this place was on 7th Avenue, not on 5th. But I do have a craving for muffins, and location disquisitions are not important right now. There is a long line inside, this means the muffins are tasty and delicious, just like I remember. I reach for the door, but it doesn’t open. Some customer might have locked it by mistake. I knock on the glass, and my cheecks are burning red as I don’t like to bother people and seem intrusive. But no one must have heard, because the door is still locked. So I knock again, this time harder, but still nobody turns or looks at me. These people actually don’t seem to realize I am out there, craving muffins! Annoyed and a little cross, I look around. And I am glad I finally see the park in front of me, the small park with an old stone house in it. It’s not Prospect Park, but it’s cozy, and it is the perfect place to start my Huge and Heavy Book.
I cross the street, paying attention to the streetlights even though the road is deserted, and I go sit on a bench under a tree covered in orange and red leaves. And while the leaves keep falling down on me, hitting random parts of the pages, I collect the words that suddenly take a shape and a solid form and I close them in a small wooden box that sits beside me on the bench. What am I going to do with these words when I’m finished? They are so many now. Can I sell them, perhaps? Can I glue them to other pages from other books, and maybe make a new story?
It is dark when I raise my head. The only thing that is luminous is my little wooden box. I try to open it, because I need light to find the way back to my house, but now the wooden box is locked, and my book is finished, and I forgot what story I was told. So I open Huge and Heavy Book another time, because I really can’t forget a story that I just finished.
And all I can see now is white and empty pages, and a story that needs to be re-written once again, maybe with the luminous words hidden my wooden box. Only, I have to find a way to give them a new sense.
From Alice in Wonderland.
'Hold your tongue!' said the Queen, turning purple.
'I won't!' said Alice.
Off with her head!' the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.
'Who cares for you?' said Alice, (she had grown to her full size by this time.) 'You're nothing but a pack of cards!'
At this the whole pack rose up into the air, and came flying down upon her: she gave a little scream, half of fright and half of anger, and tried to beat them off, and found herself lying on the bank, with her head in the lap of her sister, who was gently brushing away some dead leaves that had fluttered down from the trees upon her face.
'Wake up, Alice dear!' said her sister; 'Why, what a long sleep you've had!'
'Oh, I've had such a curious dream!' said Alice, and she told her sister, as well as she could remember them, all these strange Adventures of hers that you have just been reading about; and when she had finished, her sister kissed her, and said, 'It was a curious dream, dear, certainly: but now run in to your tea; it's getting late.'
So Alice got up and ran off, thinking while she ran, as well she might, what a wonderful dream it had been.