I had an email from a good friend this morning, commenting on my remark about how much I love places like Staples and Offices Depot and Max. She’s a writer, too, and our electronic conversation got my imagination going.
In my mind’s eye, I saw Dickens pausing on a quaint London street to peer through the stationers’ window at journals bound in rich leather, their pages clean and unmarked, awaiting the point of a quill pen. I saw Mark Twain, stepping stunned into an Office Max, marveling. He would be drawn to the rich selection of paper, the many pens and other accoutrements of writing, but he loved machines, too. No doubt he would be considered a security risk, peering into printers, studying fax machines, striding behind the copy desk to watch the papers spew, collated and crisp, from a huge and whirring device. Emily Dickenson would probably be overcome by the noise and the hurry–she was a recluse, you know, and wore her nerves on the outside of her skin–but I can easily imagine her in one of my very favorite places–Kate’s Paperie, in New York city. 57th Street, I think. Given the space and time to adjust, I think dear Emily would be spellbound. Surely, she would think to herself, running a fragile hand over fine marbled papers and delicious journals, this is heaven.
Oh, yes, Emily.
It is indeed heaven.