When the lights went out we were talking about Violette Leduc. Or maybe she was teling me the story of how she bought the bookstore, how she had her eye on this other place and then discovered it was secretly thousands of dollars in debt, and its owner was nicking copies on the sly--a trade paper D.H. Lawrence here, a cloth Doctorow there. But we were standing in FICTION L on the second floor, the room glowed imperceptibly brighter for a second, and then it was totally dark except for the dim natural light creeping over from the windows that face the street. The owner lady said, "Oh no. Oh no!" and looked panicked, apologized and ran downstairs, leaving me holding La Batarde and suspiciously eyeing the pics of Anais Nin and James Joyce scotch taped to the shelves, which suddenly looked less than benign, staring at me in the dark like that.
Turns out owner lady (Kathy, my nascent BFF & hero not only for owning the single greatest, most ramshackle and delapidated independent bookstore on the planet, but also for knowing who Natalie Barney is) used to be heavy into the femme-based p-rock, and rattled off this crazy list of trailblazer ladyacts she saw at the Turf Club back in the day, something like Lene Lovich/Lydia Lunch/Nina Hagen/X/Blondie. Patti Smith came into the store last year, says Kathy, just to browse, and I can totes imagine her there, trolling the poetry section for Baudelaire while the lights flicker overhead and dusty shelves threaten to collapse. Seance-worthy would be an understatement. Meet me there on Halloween and we can have a chat with Anne Sexton.