—L’autre direction! dit l’abeille.

He was right, too!We went a-hunting for a Los Angeles bookstore selling books in French. A store with more titles than the measly selection in the big box bookstores. The magic mind of the Web told us to go to Skylight Bookstore on North Vermont Avenue in Los Feliz.

Well we found it eventually, but not before we got lost in a section of the city called “Wilshire Center” because it would be impolite to call it Shabbytown. Our mapless wandering up and down miserable streets was, happpily, of short duration. A friendly statue of a gesticulating bee [see above] seemed to tell us the direction in which to go. We obeyed. The bee did not lie: Reader, we found Skylight Bookstore.

The number of books in French that were on sale there filled four or five short shelves; indeed more than you’ll find in Barnes & Borders, but not nearly enough to justify the grueling car trip over the mountains. The rest of the books throughout the store, humbly standing on plywood planks, spoke of the “poisonous doctrines of Milton Friedman” and offered tips on planning your gay wedding. A shrine dedicated to Bukowski’s prose and poetry rose Mayanlike in tiers. The giant bee who had been so helpful back when we were driving in circles proved to be a homosexual Marxist alcoholic.

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