"Thus open the gates of paradise."

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Without Stopping

06 Apr 2002

Who: Paul Bowles

What: Without Stopping

Where: Balfour Books, College Street, Toronto

When: Good Friday (April), 2000

Why: I was at the checkout desk with a collection of short stories and essays by Bowles when the guy behind the desk said "We just got something else by him the other day." He starts rummaging though the heaps of books stacked by the cash register. "Here it is. You wanna look?"

This, by the way, is the same technique that drug pushers use to turn the Youth Of Today into the Dope Fiends of Tomorrow.

"I'll give to you for.. I don't know. $10" (or whatever it was) "Is that OK?"

I pause for a just a moment. "Yeah, all right."

Parents, take note: If ten bucks go missing from your wallet, and you suspect it's been purloined by your children, don't go looking in their rooms for ziplock bags of marijuana. Look for used books by existentialist writers living in Morocco. Or whatever else has "just come in" at your local book reseller.