I was in Park Slope, Brooklyn, at Down South, a music venue whose cavernous basement looks like a military bunker. My friend Bert, better known as Bob Foxx, was spinning his tunes in the shadows. And I remember creating a spectacle when I tripped on a bar stool and sent it crashing to the cement floor. Everyone thought I was drunk but, in actuality, I was just clumsy, ungraceful.
As midnight approached, I sat next to a girl I didn't know, a friend of Bert's sister. A few beers had left me buzzed and I'm not sure why I turned to her, but I did, I don't know when I'm going to get my Harry Potter book.
She clasped her hand to an open mouth, Holy s***, that's tonight.
I nodded and she looked at her watch, rose up from her seat, Well, come on. We've got to go get one. As if there were no other choice, as if, obviously, this was what we must do.
We left the bar abruptly and came up to the street then looked around, frazzled, trying to figure out where to go. My new Potter companion thought she knew an independent bookstore in the neighborhood and we wandered until we found it, this charming shop, so tiny it looked as if all of the books were spilling out of it. Bookshelves stacked to the ceiling. Towers of books on sturdy wooden tables.
I looked for the kids, the costumes. All of the chain stores were boasting massive parties, expecting lines to curl around the block. But, we were the only ones at this particular shop. They gave us cookies and milk, handed us the heavy book, with it's orange flame cover.
And so we left, victorious, descended into the underground bar. Our adventure was just a little rest stop before we continued on with the night. I remember that we caused quite a stir, the two of us with our hefty books. People were amused, some jealous, Where'd you get that? they asked and when we told them, they went on their way, returning with the book tucked under their arm.
I will always remember how strange and perfect that experience was. The night I got the final Harry Potter book.
In anticipation of the release of The Deathly Hallows Part II, check out some other bloggers talking about Potter this week:
Michael Di Gesu