30 September 2008. The day will go down in infamy. The day I woke early (ish) to the sound of rushing water and thought it was nothing but a nice rain and promptly fell back to sleep. I woke to my roommate telling me the basement had flooded. Apparently a water main had broken, water had filled our basement window wells to fill then break. I rushed downstairs to assess the damage. My books. My precious books (at least some of them) were in that basement. I lost over fifty good friends that day, some acquired after hours scouring used bookstores. Some new beautiful books. Some old battered book. Each a book I’d read, marked, enjoyed. Ironically the book of crappy bestsellers that I inevitably get for Christmas each year was unharmed. And the box of books I’d consigned to Goodwill. They were just fine. I tried to shrug it off. “They’re only books.” I bravely said, but inside I was screaming “Why didn’t I unpack you and put you on shelves???” “Why didn’t I protect you?” “Why are you gone?” I still think about those books. I’ve replaced a few of them. Others are irreplaceable. I suppose I will always think about it. I will think about the books that didn’t make it and those that did. I still have the little red set of books that my father had as a child. I still have my journals. I still have my first copy of Friday’s Child. Yes, I lost some friends, but what remained is even more precious now. And yes, they are upstairs, unpacked, on shelves, right where they belong.