Flea Market

On 15 May, I participated in an outdoor flea market at the Hawthorne Center, one of the village centers here in Columbia, Maryland. For four hours, I manned a table showing off my six published books and talked to readers. Given the pandemic, I wasn’t expecting much of a turnout, but, due partly to the beautiful weather, a good many people came. I ended up selling about a dozen books (I should have kept a tab but didn’t), and the by the end of the session, I had a group of four readers who had come to the event to see me all standing around my table talking away and advising prospective customers on which book to buy.

I started out the day wearing a mask, one provided to me by Médecins sans Frontieres (Doctors with Borders—an international humanitarian medical non-governmental organization of French origin best known for its projects in conflict zones and in countries affected by endemic diseases). But soon I and everybody else abandoned the masks as unnecessary. For the first time in well over a year, I shook hands with friends and strangers alike. As more and more are vaccinated, life will begin to return to normal.

It was a day of fulfillment for me. The men gathered around my table were other authors and friends who knew my work well and very much enjoyed each other’s company. I was singularly complimented that they came to the event to celebrate with me.

A day to remember.

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