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There Is No 29th Street
Lisandra walked briskly down the sidewalk. She was headed for the antique bookstore she had spotted a week ago. Well, more than spotted. She had gone inside out of curiosity and had spent half the afternoon there, reading old, dusty, fascinating books and chatting with the friendly and elderly desk clerk. There had been one book that had grabbed her attention and had glued her to its pages longer than any other there. She had been planning on coming back to buy it and this was that day.
At the thought of owning such a strange and fascinating book, Lisandra walked as fast as her 50’s style heels and skirt would allow her to. At last she reached the street corner at which, a week before, she had seen the sign pointing toward the little shop’s entrance way. The sign was gone. No matter, she knew the way well enough without it. She continued to walk looking for the door to the bookstore. She walked almost twenty yards when she stopped, turned around, and started back, clearly not understanding something.
This was where the shop was supposed to be. But where was the shop? She was most clearly lost. But this was Twenty-Ninth Street, was it not? Lisandra wandered about staring at street signs and at the solid brick wall on the street corner where the little antique book store was supposed to be. She spent so much time on that one street corner that a police officer, across the busy street had noticed something strange about the girl and walked over to where she was.
“Excuse me, miss,” he began, taking off his cap and running his fingers through his dark, coarse hair. “Are you looking for something?”
Lisandra turned, and surprised, answered his question. “I dare say I am. Where is the little antique book shop that stood here only last week?”
“Miss?” the police officer looked about himself unsure of what to tell the young lady. “Miss, there is no little antique book shop around these parts, at least not that I know of.”
The girl looked troubled by his answer. Her green eyes continued to search the brick wall. “That cannot be so, I was here, on this exact sidewalk looking into an antique book shop only last week!” her eyes stopped searching the wall and she stared at the police officer. “Sir, is this not Twenty-ninth Street?”
Now it was the police officer’s turn to look troubled. He answered, searching her face for the reasons behind this strange behavior.
“No, miss. There is no Twenty-Ninth Street- not in here in Chicago, at least.”
Lisandra puzzled over this for some time. Then she must be lost.
“Miss, would you like me to call a taxi cab to take you home?” there was no answer to the officer’s question. “Miss?”
Lisandra came out of her daze. “Oh, yes?”
“Would you like me to call a taxi cab to take you home?”
“Yes. Yes, that would do very well. I need to go home. I do believe I’m very much lost or out of my mind. A taxi, yes. That will do. I probably only need some rest. I’ve been working so hard these days with the modeling and all. I think I could use a rest. A rest! Oh, I’ll go to the very place-”