Jon Cwiok, a longtime worker at Myopic, used to call that store “the book hole.” It’s always stayed with me. Now I’m in my own book hole. Well, it’s not really mine, but I’m alone in it for three days in a row. Joe is taking time off because he’s about to build ten bookshelves next door and I’m minding the till in his stead.

Sometime during the first day I experienced something similar to the burst-balloon feeling I had during a shift at Bernice’s. Then, I’d had a several-week-long daydream about owning my own bar. It came crashing down once I was in the place alone and could imagine a decade or two like it into the future. I felt trapped and just wanted to walk out the door.

Second day I spend doing overstock. This entails climbing a ladder, taking photos of shelves up near the ceiling, then climbing back down and comparing the lower shelves with my photos to see whether any titles are missing below. I repeat this sequence half a dozen times, yielding about forty books. I used to enjoy being at Myopic when they did this job. There, one worker was on the ladder calling out names to another below, getting a bunch of no’s and the occasional yes. My version is silent save for whatever I have playing on the stereo.

There are also more customers and a guy buys a fancy Folio Society boxed set of Greek myths for $75. It’s a big deal considering most books in the store are $6.95 or less. Kevin from the Duck comes in with a bag full of books to donate and buys a bunch of cookbooks. Preston brings a friend. She buys Paul Beatty’s The Sellout on my recommendation.

On day three, a young woman walks in, looks around, and asks if this is a bookstore. A little later, another asks whether the books are for sale. She thought maybe you had to have a subscription.

This all feels good but I can’t yet imagine doing it day in day out.

I don’t think I’m built to be a business owner. Joe’s excited about all the possibilities of doubling the space next door; all I see is schlepping boxes. It doesn’t mean I won’t do it or that I won’t get some satisfaction out of it, but the dream of expansion and unseen possibilities is not my dream.

I liked Minami Deutsch‘s set at the Bottle so much that I left before the headliner they were opening for came on so as not to blemish the memory.

Ken is retiring from modeling in life-drawing classes for forty years. He told me he just can’t hold the poses he used to hold. He was a school choir director for thirty-five years concurrently, but quit that gig a few years ago. I ask if he’ll be spending all his time on his yacht now, which got a laugh. He said his version is visiting national parks.

The art book‘s off to the printers. Needing something else to do immediately, I guess, I made a zine of all my Duck Inn bottle sketches.

I recorded a talk with Scott Schaaf of Pinwheel Records.

I reviewed a book on Chicago’s taxi wars and a John Singer Sargent exhibition for the screen.