Flower sits in a chair, wrapped in translucent plastic. She looks like a broken takeaway baguette.
TANNER There was a place called World’s Biggest Bookstore in Toronto in 1995. Man, it was paradise. There were books printed twenty years before, ones that you’d barely heard of, on display. I could easily waste an entire afternoon there, just wandering, checking out their catalog, feeling dizzy, ending up buying absolutely nothing. Overwhelmed by the possibilities.
We had a similar place here. The Only Bookstore in Finland, they might named it back in the day. Instead, they strove for the Olympic heights. Be careful what you wish for. There comes the reckoning—woo woo! Like a long black train, and its name is Memory.
FLOWER Memory is its name.
TANNER The day they call your bluff. The end of Finland as we know it, at long, long last. Hallelujah!
FLOWER I object. A bookstore and country are two separate entities.
TANNER That’s what you think. Let me finish.
FLOWER By all means.
TANNER You said it. The other day I stopped at The Olympic Bookstore to fetch a book, a paperback, one you can read backwards, which is essential for a fool like me. Of course the title in question wasn’t available presently. But, they said, as they always do. They can order it from abroad! Guess what? So can I. At this point, I was ready for my daily bowel movement, and thank God they hadn’t renovated their washroom into a trendy coffee bar yet. The only thing still standing from the good old days. And there I sat, reading my Kindle, having profound and foul visions of the future of this country.
And now I read the Toronto store is about to be closed. And Helsinki will be remembered as fondly as a tiny snowman in hell. That bookstore is a tombstone; the daily paper, a mouthful of soil.