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Waiting At Heaven's Door


AS A CHILD I LIVED DOWN THE BLOCK FROM A SMALL BOOK STORE. ADAM WAS A VIETNAM VETERAN WHO SLEPT IN THE DOOR OF THE SHAKESPEARE BOOK SHOP WHICH WAS THE CLOSEST THING TO HEAVEN TO ME AS A 10 YEAR OLD. HE’D WAVE TO ME EVERY MORNING AND ASK ME ABOUT MY DAY WHEN I CAME HOME. ADAM WITH HIS WHITE BUSHY BEARD, COOL TEXAS ACCENT AND NEVER ENDING SUPPLY OF COWBOY STORIES WAS MY FRIEND.


ON SUNDAYS THE BOOK SHOP WOULD HOST STORY HOUR AND UNDER THE WATCHFUL EYE OF STAFF ADAM WOULD ENTERTAIN THE KIDS WITH MAGIC TRICKS AND OCASSIONALLY READ US A STORY IF IT GOT SO BUSY THE STAFF COULDN’T. ADAM WAS AWESOME AND CONFIDED TO ME ONCE THAT THE BOOK SHOP WAS HIS IDEA OF HEAVEN TOO. ONE DAY ON MY BACK FROM SCHOOL ADAM WASN’T SITTING IN FRONT OF THE BOOK STORE READING PER HIS ROUTINE. THAT NIGHT MY MOTHER TOLD ME THAT ADAM HAD GONE HOME. YEARS LATER I FOUND OUT HE HAD ACTUALLY DIED IN HIS SLEEP IN THE DOORWAY OF THE STORE. WHILE PACKING FOR MY MOVE A FEW DAYS AGO I CAME ACROSS A HAPPY MEAL TOY ADAM HAD GIVEN ME BEFORE HE ‘WENT HOME’. HIS MEMORY IS WHAT INSPIRED THIS PIECE.

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