Reading is an even more heavenly pleasure when there's nothing technological surrounding you, when you have nothing to do.
Before she left with Dad for Las Vegas, Mom told Meridith to go to one of the two nail salons near our neighborhood and get her cuticles cleaned. Mom got her nails done at a salon at the Henderson Galleria mall.
Meridith chose the Ocean Nails Spa, near the Grand Panda Chinese restaurant, a Starbucks, and a Subway. I don't like the fumes in those places, so I took a bench at the far end of that chunk of commerce building (There's also a dentist's office, and a dry cleaners) and opened to where I had left off in Cornbread Nation 1: The Best of Southern Food Writing. I brought along some tape flags with me since I usually copy down titles and authors on a yellow legal notepad on a small clipboard, and I didn't want to bring all that with me.
There was only the sounds of traffic and a hydraulic hiss from inside the dry cleaners, what sounded like a "tee", and then a scant few seconds later, a "tah," and a noticeable cool wind which made me glad, after about 10 minutes, that I had brought my jacket. I looked up occasionally to see if Meridith had come out, but I was deep into reading about southern food and food culture. I was gone. Solid gone. I loved that I was in this one spot in the entire world, doing exactly what I wanted to do. That's all I needed.