My Dearest Friend
For years, you’ve been at my side, a steady and dependable silent partner. Ever since our first encounter, I’ve held you in my heart and until now never confessed my truest feelings. I know I am not your first but oh, how I’ve wished you belonged only to me. I’m selfish that way. I’ve often dreamed I were the only one to know this love. I knew I could not keep you for myself and that you belonged to more than silly ole me. Still I yearned. You knew that I would rather die than confess my feelings and suffer the humiliation of saying those three words. Never did you push, or demand more, and always, you respected my choices, and me. Despite my foibles, my eccentricities, and even after all the indiscretions over the years, you’ve never left my side.
You honor me, always. Only you would think of me first, whereas I have often put others ahead of you. I’ve tossed you to one side while I explored the world without you. Of course, I’d always come back to you, begging forgiveness with promises to be true and to hold you above all others. You took me back time and time again, knowing I’d falter and break my vow to be true. My wandering eyes and this heart of mine, easily wooed. In all the years we’ve known one another, you never betrayed me, not once.
Even now, when life for you is uncertain you maintain your dignity and continue to bare your love for not only me, but to anyone with the desire. From here, I watch you across the room. You’re standing tall, toy soldier rigid, with your come-hither glances ever ready to seduce. Your ability to draw me to your side never wans. Despite the time and distance we may have been apart, even when you’ve angered me with unsatisfying finales, I’d come back for more. For one more dance in your arms I’d crawl over jagged rocks, sail the seven seas, give you my sight. I’d sacrifice all for you and a story. I’d find a way. I would.
My dearest friend, I fret I will not find you so easily in the days ahead. The path to your arms becomes increasingly difficult, even shrouded in uncertainty. The climate around us changes with each passing sunrise. It pains me to confess this, but each day there are more and more readers who have opted to Kindle or Nook, instead of cracking open your spine and falling into the pages of you. Their eyes no longer roam the aisles of the physical bookstore, they open browsers, they tap-tap-tap on keyboards for the objective of their desire. They’ve forgotten the feel of your pages in their hands, the rush of running home to find the book at page 173 right were they left it the night before, but mostly they have forgotten the weigh of you on their chest. They’re a changed people, myself included. I’m a double agent, I too have Nooked. Despite this… and everything I have put you through over the years, I remain your loyal and loving friend. You showed me the world, took me on grand adventures, held me close when my own world was uncertain, and never, not once, did you leave my side. I will always love you.
With deep gratitude,
Sadly, Barnes and Noble, like so many other bookstores, moves forward with downsizing plans. This news nearly broke my heart. I know books will live on in e-form, but for this reader, it feels as if a part of our history is getting lost in uncertainty of the global economic rebirth. I’ve never lost my love for the physical book or bookstore. I continue to roam the aisles of new, used, big box, and the independents, as often as I can or as much as my budget will allow. Sniff. Sniff. (Article on B&N downsizing)