A Treasure Trove and a Riddle

One of these days I am going to do a photo series of all of the stuff I find in the parking lot of Generimart. Not everything exactly, but the stuff that I keep like the toys. The pinnacle of that collection will no doubt be the box of books I found yesterday.

Illegal dumping is one of those things that’s impossible to enforce, because even if someone was caught doing it, then what? They’d get a fine and no one would expect that they would be the ones who got caught. And as screwed up as the world is right now, we could only pray for a time when someone dumping their trash in the parking lot of their local mall is the worst thing on the minds of our area’s finest.

The box was not there when I went into the store, but when I emerged after a fifteen minute break, there it was in one of our shopping carts. As I approached it, I saw the back cover of a book that was strangely familiar. Sure enough, the Botticelli Angel that is a significant part of two of my favorite books in The Vampire Chronicles stared out at me through the opening of the box that had once carried bottles of wine.

On further investigation, I discovered that every single book save one was an Anne Rice novel. That one was a guide to Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Not every book was a Vampire Chronicle, however. There was Lasher, Ramses the Damned, Exit to Eden, Angel Time, and the Sleeping Beauty trilogy. In other words, I just happened to stumble upon a treasure trove. The challenge, as with all treasures, became which of these things would I take with me.

Lately, I have not been a very adventurous reader, preferring to stick with books I have read and authors who have not disappointed me. Anne Rice is like an old friend from high school who made a very difficult four years so much easier to deal with. Yet while I would gladly re-read every one of the Vampire Chronicles, Ramses the Damned, and the Wolf Gift Series, I just don’t have the energy to try any of the new stuff like the Angel series and the Erotica.

There was also the matter of having to carry these things home to my small place, which is currently under siege by an army of bloodsuckers who are not as welcome in my home as the Coven of the Articulate.

So, if Anne Rice should come upon this blog post, I truly hope that she will not be offended that I only took the books that I knew I would read. Of the remaining books, I took them to the donation bin at the edge of the parking lot where I knew that someone who would love them as much as I loved the Vampire Chronicles would get the chance to partake.

There’s an epilogue to this tale. On my way home, I stopped at the 7/11 and this bizarre occurrence took place. When I was the last customer in the store, I bought a hot dog and a small root beer. The clerk was Middle Eastern and I guess I just gave off that friendly, non-threatening vibe that I sometimes wish I could turn off, because while I was getting the condiments for my hot dog, this exchange took place.

Clerk: I have chest pains. Should I see a doctor?

Me: Um… I don’t know, is it serious?

Clerk: No, it’s not serious. I have an appointment with the doctor, but I still feel pain.

Me: Okay. My skills as a cart jockey at Generimart don’t really qualify me to give medical advice. So if you’re concerned, you probably should see a doctor.

Understand, that I wasn’t trying to be rude or off putting to this guy. He was getting a little clingy, which I chalked up to just making sure I didn’t go wild with the pickles and the ketchup. I tried being patient, if not friendly, because there was one other customer in the store, but when you get right down to it there’s only one clerk here and I didn’t want to make him uncomfortable. Then he starts asking me whether every Generimart in the area is hiring, to which I reminded him that I was just a lowly cart jockey. No, I couldn’t get him in with my manager, as he asked, and what was I going to say exactly? “Oh yeah, I met this guy once at a 7/11. He’s great at asking for medical advice from barely qualified strangers.”

I wish him the best, I really do. I just honestly hope I never get that hungry again.

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