It's one thing to develop a nostalgia for home while you're boozing with Yankee writers in Martha's Vineyard or being chased by the bulls in Pamplona. It's something else to go home and visit with the folks in Reed's drugstore on the square and actually listen to them. The reason you can't go home again is not because the down-home folks are mad at you-they're not, don't flatter yourself, they couldn't care less-but because once you're in orbit and you return to Reed's drugstore on the square, you can stand no more than fifteen minutes of the conversation before you head for the woods, head for the liquor store, or head back to Martha's Vineyard, where at least you can put a tolerable and saving distance between you and home. Home may be where the heart is but it's no place to spend Wednesday afternoon.
I usually put on a lip and some mascara before I head out of the house. It makes me feel good. I started experimenting with makeup back in high school. One of my friends, who shall remain nameless, shoplifted a bunch of drugstore cosmetics for me, and I would just play with it in my room at night.
Someday, when my children are old enough to understand the logic that motivates a mother, I'll tell them: I loved you enough to bug you about where you were going, with whom and what time you would get home. ... I loved you enough to be silent and let you discover your friend was a creep. I loved you enough to make you return a Milky Way with a bite out of it to a drugstore and confess, 'I stole this.' ... But most of all I loved you enough to say no when you hated me for it. That was the hardest part of all.
The first comic I can remember ever reading was a 'Fantastic Four' issue that my dad bought out of the drugstore once. The thing that struck me about it was that the ending wasn't an ending. It was essentially a cliffhanger. It was the first time I had ever read anything like that, where you read a book, but the book isn't the book.
Tell me about your day, your routine, and what you did at the drugstore when the dumb little girl charged you five cents instead of five dollars. Did you speak up? Are you all so lily-white? The harder it gets to be safe and secure, to trust, to find love and understanding-the more you feel entitled, allowed, even encouraged, to cheat, to lie, to steal, and then later, even to kill. That you're just beginning to feel it now only means you have been lucky for too long.
In New Haven, Conn., when I was growing up, there were two sorts of Irish. There were the "drugstore cowboy" micks, who hung around the Elm Street poolroom over Longley's Lunch. And there were the earnest young Irishmen who fought their way up from the Grand Avenue saloonkeeper backgrounds of their fathers, went through Yale Law School, and have now found high place by the preferment of local politics or in the teaching profession.
James T. Farrell
For years I walked around with the phrase "Green River" because I had seen that on a soda fountain drink when I was probably 8 or 9 years old, and I went, 'Gee, I like that.' Another one was "Lodi", which I thought sounded really cool. I got this cheap little empty plastic notebook at my local drugstore, and bought a little slab of filler paper and the very first title I wrote in it was "Proud Mary". I had no idea what that title meant.
Tom Stafford was an odd character, you know - a brilliant guy. He looked weird and I think he took a really defensive attitude about being a hunchback. You know how people can be, giving him a hard time. So he turned that into a defensive mechanism. He would strike first, a lot of times. But he was a great guy, and really those talks we had when I was about 15, out of all of that came the studio over the drugstore and everything else. I'm not saying - I'm no big deal, but I was a part of the birth of the music there.
One of the things that I have seen change that warms the cockles of my heart is what is happening in the cosmetics industry. For years, they were doing horrible things to animals in the manufacture of cosmetics, and testing of the most barbaric types; today, if you go into a drugstore and go down the [cosmetics] aisle, look at how many of them say no animal testing. I've talked with people who work in the cosmetics departments, and they tell me, Without that, you can't sell them. And that's wonderful!
The neo-conservative critics of leftist critics of mass culture ridicule the protest against Bach as background music in the kitchen, against Plato and Hegel, Shelley and Baudelaire, Marx and Freud in the drugstore. Instead, they insist on recognition of the fact that the classics have left the mausoleum and come to life again, that people are just so much more educated. True, but coming to life as classics, they come to life as other than themselves; they are deprived of their antagonistic force, of the estrangement which was the very dimension of their truth.
American children hear no stories about ghosts. They spend a dime at the drugstore to buy a Superman comic book... Superman represents actual capabilities or future potential, while ghosts symbolize belief in and reverence for the accumulated past... How could ghosts gain a foothold in American cities? People move about like the tide, unable to form permanent ties with places, still less with other people... In a world without ghosts, life is free and easy. American eyes can gaze straight ahead. But still I think they lack something and I do not envy their life.
What exists beneath the sea? I'd always pictured it in colors of emerald and aquamarine, where black velvet fish with sequined eyes swim among plankton. But, when my eyes adjust, I see gray stones, lost anchors, wet wood, buttons, hooks, and eyes, the salem witches who wouldn't float, stars and stripes, missing vessels, windup toys, the souls of Romeo and Juliet, peaches, cream, pistons, screams, cages of ribs and birds, tunnels, nutcracker soldiers, satin bows, drugstore signs, Pandora box ripped open at its hinges.
What exists beneath the sea?I'd always pictured it in colors of emerald and aquamarine, where black velvet fish with sequined eyes swim among plankton.But, when my eyes adjust, I see gray stones, lost anchors, wet wood, buttons, hooks, and eyes, the salem witches who wouldn't float, stars and stripes, missing vessels, windup toys, the souls of Romeo and Juliet, peaches, cream, pistons, screams, cages of ribs and birds, tunnels, nutcracker soldiers, satin bows, drugstore signs, Pandora box ripped open at its hinges.
It's funny how one summer can change everything. It must be something about the heat and the smell of chlorine, fresh-cut grass and honeysuckle, asphalt sizzling after late-day thunderstorms, the steam rising while everything drips around it. Something about long, lazy days and whirring air conditioners and bright plastic flip-flops from the drugstore thwacking down the street. Something about fall being so close, another year, another Christmas, another beginning. So much in one summer, stirring up like the storms that crest at the end of each day, blowing out all the heat and dirt to leave everything gasping and cool. Everyone can reach back to one summer and lay a finger to it, finding the exact point when everything changed. That summer was mine.
It's just the way things are. Take a moment to consider this statement. Really think about it. We send one species to the butcher and give our love and kindness to another apparently for no reason other than because it's the way things are. When our attitudes and behaviors towards animals are so inconsistent, and this inconsistency is so unexamined, we can safely say we have been fed absurdities. It is absurd that we eat pigs and love dogs and don't even know why. Many of us spend long minutes in the aisle of the drugstore mulling over what toothpaste to buy. Yet most of don't spend any time at all thinking about what species of animal we eat and why. Our choices as consumers drive an industry that kills ten billion animals per year in the United States alone. If we choose to support this industry and the best reason we can come up with is because it's the way things are, clearly something is amiss. What could cause an entire society of people to check their thinking caps at the door-and to not even realize they're doing so? Though this question is quite complex, the answer is quite simple: carnism.