I was at the dentist's the other day and I had nitrous, because I always have nitrous, even for a dental exam. All professionals should offer nitrous, IMO, even tax accountants and lawyers. Maybe especially tax accountants and lawyers; it would be a better world. The staff at my dentists has a liberal hand with the gas. I sit in the chair and as soon as I am bibbed I say, "Red line," and the nice lady says, "Red line." I socket my ear phones, settle the fruity-smelling rubber mask, and we are off. When I walked out of there I thought I should wait awhile before driving home, because I did not have clearance from air traffic control, so I had to kill some time while I drifted home from the land o'dreams.
As it happened, it was one of the Four Perfect Days that Seattle gets each year, as recompense for the 361 days that are not so perfect: sun shining, every mountain out, washed air, the water sparkling, of course, but also everything is sort of sparkling, buildings, sidewalks, people's faces. Could it be the N2O? No, it was just the Perfect Day. Every mobile inhabitant was out on the street wearing as little clothing as possible, so much vitamin D was being made that it was beading up on cool surfaces. You could hear a hum from the melanocytes as you strolled the street.
So I thought I would get some lunch out, and also that as long as I was going to do that I would go to the Elliot Bay Book Company, which is a serious bookstore we have in Seattle although it is not near Elliot Bay anymore but on Capitol Hill. Similarly, there is no Capitol on the hill.
Now it is a sad fact that since I became a pro writer I have not frequented good bookstores, except when reading, and I always felt compressed and irritated in them. Since the iPhone/ iPad came on line I always had something to read on the road without every having to go into a bookstore. What it was--irritation with so many books I didn't write and worrying about how MY books were displayed, pretty embarrassing to think about that now. The point being that I had not been in a bookstore in my right mind in a couple of years at least, and as soon as I went in the door I immediately recalled how great an experience a good bookstore was, to which the browsing we do on computers is as phone sex compared to sex. I bought $140 of books in about seven minutes. Then I had lunch, a very bad lunch as it happens, since I don't get to Capitol Hill much and don't know the decent places any more, but even the bad lunch was okay because it was a Perfect Day.