We closed the doors to the public on Friday and the last few days have been all about boxing: boxing returns, boxing strips and boxing transfers. There is a wall of garbage to be thrown away and several pallets (some still to be built) of books to send back, which means the back-breaking labor does not end when all the books are pulled from the shelves.
A bookstore without books looks skeletal, each bone shelf exposed to the air to reveal all its flaws: spilled coffee stains, torn laminate, and dust everywhere.
I really thought I could chronicle this process—the last days with customers, the tear down—as it happened, but that’s impossible. It’s too there, too in my face to really process right away, and when I get home I’m so achy-oh-my-god-what-did-I-do-to-my-self that typing seems to be beyond my abilities. Two ibuprofens, some mindless television and a hot shower are all I can manage.
But I’ll give it another try tonight.