Saturday, November 10, 2007
I still remember the first time I ever saw you: I walked into Aaron's Books in 1991 (or '92) and bought a copy of Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49. You looked like a younger and more kempt version of the Comic Book Store Guy from The Simpsons, right down to the ponytail, goatee and aw fuck off out of my store attitude, visible just beneath the friendly demeanour. A year or two later, I moved to Calgary and ended up living above the bookstore. I spent my afternoons hanging out there, talking about Philip K. Dick and high-energy physics. A few months later your irritating vanilla-scented roommate moved out and I moved in, which began a two-year era of my life that I can only describe as being a frat boy without a fraternity. The stories and the strangeness pile too high to enumerate here, but suffice it to say that I cannot imagine my life now without you and your brooding, hulking, slightly terrifying presence. I think of you often and thank you for the giant box of Philip K. Dick novels you sent on the bus, along with the outdated New Zealand travel guide.