There is a hardback copy of The Collected Essays of E.B. White sitting at home, nestled as close kin on the shelf between Charlotte’s Web and Lawrence Weschler’s “Calamities of Exile.” It contains this piece, “Here is New York,” which in itself contains some of my very favorite words.
And yet, despite owning it already, for the third time, I felt compelled to buy this slim, stand-alone volume.
The first copy I owned, I had lent to someone right in the heart of New York, a short-term loan I expected to receive back. But circumstance pushed us apart, and there was a long period of cold darkness between us. Last fall, when circumstance brought us together again and I saw it lying on a shelf in her apartment, she offered it back, but I refused. It just didn’t feel right. That beauty was hers now.
I didn't tell her, but I had already bought another copy.