Dear stranger in Brooklyn Heights,
I don’t know much about you, but I can infer some things.
I think you are someone who cares about your belongings.
Like your copy of Spoon River Anthology, for example.
I think you care about it because you stamped it twice – once inside the front cover and once inside the back.
Maybe you just didn’t want to lose it and for it to be returned to you if it ever did get lost. But, if that’s the case, how did it end up in a used bookstore in a town 3,000 miles away?
I would want to know which poems are your favorites, but it seems like you never read them. The pages are nearly perfect, despite being printed in 1962.
I wish I could ask you some questions.
How old were you when you bought it? How old are you now? Why didn’t you read it? How did it end up with me?
I don’t know who you are, but I want to say thank you. Your book that was originally sold for 95 cents is now my book that was sold to me for three dollars.
And now I have a story within a story, thanks to you.
I’m not sure if you still live in New York or if any of my assumptions about you were correct or if you’re even a person at all.
But just in case I was right, once I finish the book, I’ll send it back to you.