So said Moz in one of his most amazing solo efforts ever, that being "Last Night, Maudlin Street."
I was recently visiting a friend where we began discussing books. We remenisced about the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop where I discovered some notable gay authors such as Gore Vidal and John Rechy. I mentioned that there was a possiblity of its doors closing once but that it had been saved. Then my friend said to me that earlier this year it had in fact shut down its doors for good. It made me very unhappy to hear this.
I suppose things like this are going to happen. And everytime it does, I feel a piece my youth and defining moments being taken away from me. The small record shops, and even the big ones such as Tower Records and Virgin Megastore don't seem to have a fighting chance now with the rotten economy together with on-line shops like Amazon and others. It's rather depressing now that the alternative is that you go out your door to go and buy the books or music you want. It's more common to shop by computer these days. We're all doing it so we have all contributed to this change.
But the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop was very important to me.
I must have been around 17 or 18. Walking around Greenwich Village on my own on a fine weekend where I saw the shop and decided to walk in. I'd never been in a bookstore where its entire contents were for and about gays and lesbians. I picked up several books and I remember what they were: Gore Vidal's "The City and The Pillar," John Rechy's "City of Night," and Laura Z. Hobson's "Consenting Adult."
I returned to the shop many times sometimes to just browse and sometimes to buy. Once on a sunny Sunday afternoon, I bought Phranc's "Folksinger" album. She's your average Jewish Lesbian Folk Singer who opened for The Smiths once and even for Morrissey. I remember playing this record when I got home and smiled about it and was very satisfied with how my day had gone. This is a personal statement, but I'm not having those days anymore. And thinking back at these memories are sometimes what I have left. When these places dissappear, I'm scared that the memory won't be enough. I'd like to keep pointing to these places when passing by with friends, and declare a moment of discovery, peace and self-realizations in a certain point in my life.
There's a point and time in your life that becoming old is furthest from your mind. You think at that point that you're never going to get older, lose hiar, go grey and fa....
Ok I'll stop now.
Visit the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop's website. There are many pictures.