Picture this: It's winter, I'm in New York City with my dad and brother, and we're going to Bloomingdale's. Fine. Perfectly normal. We enter the store through a doorway I've never seen before and are suddenly in what looks like a very old book store. I find my mother standing in a nook of dark, wooden shelves loaded with books floor-to-ceiling. The floors are lined with old Persian rugs that are overlapping each other.
The following conversation ensues:
Me: "What is this place?"
Mom: (in a very matter-of-fact tone) "This is our storage space. All families who lived in the city in the late 70s and early 80s were given their own storage space in Bloomingdale's. We still have ours."
I look around and a coffee table book on one of the top shelves catches my eye. The title reads, "The New York Times: A Retrospective on Sleep Apnea in America." The book is large and square. On the cover of the book is a photograph of my father from the early 1990s. He is sporting a beard, wearing a casual plaid shirt and glasses that look like this. It was his usual off-duty look that he donned back in those days. It looks like someone snapped the photo while he laughing at a very funny joke. It's a nice photograph, but I wonder why I never heard about this book until now? I notice the top shelves of another nook of shelves right next to ours. It holds hundreds of books about raising children. When I ask my mother about these, she says, "WE have TWO storage spaces, of course. Those are mine."
And then I woke up.