Trash, coffee grounds, and three drunk teenage boys

There is a dumpster behind a book store in my hometown. At 2AM of a Saturday it’s full of trash, coffee grounds, and three drunk teenage boys.  Every few minutes, out of the top, over the metal side, onto the ground, the dumpster spits out a book or magazine.

Eventually it spits out the jaunty boys too who leave, treasure in hand, like pirates after a raid; fragments of shattered coffee bean clinging to them like stowaways.

The next day my father will ask, “Where did all this come from?” while flipping through a still-drying copy of last month’s Thrasher and eyeing a coffee-stained guide to the previous tax year. “And why are they missing their covers?”

The bookstore has torn off their covers to say, “No one will ever love you.”

But we do. We want the books. All of them. Because we’ve not been alive that long. And life is so big and our minds are so strong and ache each day to be filled.