Stolen A few months before you died when the junkies started breaking into all the cars on your street every other night, you just left the doors and windows open, to save paying for new ones again. I got angry. You were calm, shrugging your skeleton frame, 75 years old, in the final stages of cancer: with nothing left to protect. Detention Whenever I got into trouble at high school the principal would lock me alone in a store- room until he decided I had had enough. Sometimes I'd be in there for hours. The room was quite small and full of books jammed onto overflowing shelves. I used them as a chair. Listening carefully for his footsteps, putting them back on the shelves and standing before he opened the door. I had never read a book and never read one while I was there. They had no purpose in the life of someone like me. I hated that room and the principal and devised many plans for revenge. A few years later I was in a terrible way, really didn't know how much longer I could survive. After work I went to Chinatown for dinner. I passed an underground bookstore on the way. I decided to go in. It was well stocked and I made the decision to buy a book from every section. A few days later I finished Chekhov's The Seagull. Everything changed that day: even the storeroom no longer looked so small.