eternity, pt. 2


When I first moved to Seattle I lived a few blocks from a used bookstore which was right next to a little coffee shop on one of my neighborhood's major intersections. They were the first landmark I really recognized, the first part of the city that I saw and didn't just see a maze of endless buildings, all faceless and alien. And they became a part of my life just as much as "home" was. Every weekend I'd go down to the bookstore and pick something up, then sit at the coffee shop and drink coffee and read. It became my little ritual.

At first I used my ritual to stave off loneliness in a new city. Eventually I made friends but I still kept some time free every weekend, because it was comforting and familiar--or, put another way, because it was changeless and eternal. And even once I'd moved away, all my thoughts of home included that coffee shop, that bookstore. In my mind these ritual altars stood tall and proud, untouched by the years, mysterious and ancient like Stonehenge. They'd be there long after I was gone. It just wouldn't be Seattle without them.

Once I'd left town, of course, I stopped performing my little ritual, and sometimes I feel like things would have been better if I hadn't--like these little shops actually helped keep the world at bay. An absurd thought, perhaps, but you need absurd thoughts to understand the eternal.

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