Free Comic Book Day story

Free Comic Book day is one of the best days of the year: Free. Comic. Books. My love of this day began several years ago when Eliina and I made a new friend who gave us an extensive tour of a comic book store and who entertained us for hours with detailed synopses of graphic novels. Since then, it’s been a mini-holiday to me, even though I can’t name all the X-Men.

First though, Caleb called to see if I wanted to go to Bikram yoga (the only yoga I have ever gone to because the 100-degree temperature makes me forget that everyone is wearing $100 tank tops). When class ended I was a luminous new puppy, happy to be loping around in the honey-colored late afternoon.

Gloriously hungry, we went for sushi at Tanoshii, where you tell Sushi Mike the kinds of stuff you like, and he whips up something mind-bending. Our minds bent. We mentally high-fived with each bite.

But then I remembered, chopsticks in midair: Free Comic Book Day. Day, day, day! It was coming up on 6:30pm. The “day” part was slipping into evening, and we had no comic books to speak of. I had to work at a show at 7pm. Suddenly the endless perfect day had a very definite endpoint. We asked our sushi waiter for the nearest comic book store, and he said he thought there was one near Broadway and Balmoral. He mispronounced “Balmoral” which made me immediately skeptical. I had never heard of the place and this out-of-towner probably didn’t know either. But we had to try.   Walking quick-like, we would just be able to squeeze this endeavor in.

After a few false alarms (This way? Can’t be that way…. That way? Can’t be this way…) Caleb spotted it across the street, Graham Cracker comics. I darted across traffic, using all my newly yoga-ed limbs. Yes. We are here. And then we saw the sign on the door: CLOSED.

I was so stunned by this turn that I held my arms straight out in front of me at the useless door, jaw poised to speak except that I was speechless. And then, the door opened.

A dude in a baseball hat poked his head out. “Hey, I’m just waiting for a ride from my friend if you guys want to come in and look around…”

Yes, yes we did.

“Just don’t stay too long or whatever.”

No problem, sir.

I tackled the free comic book stacks with zest and slipped a tidy stack of glossy randomness into my messenger bag.

“Oh, and do you want these donuts? We had a meeting this morning… They’re not poison or anything.”

Donuts, you say? Yes, we’ll take those too.  Caleb put the box under one arm and we strolled out with our loot.

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