Dallas, TX -- September 3, 2007, Labor Day

I arrived in Dallas at six in the morning and hung out in the station for a couple of hours, trying to pull myself together and normalize. No one was reading in the station.

I had a breakfast of grits, biscuits and gravy, which actually was much better than the picture looks. While I ate I watched people's bags for them while they went across the street to get food from McDonalds or go to the restroom.

One woman, whose baby was staying with her mother in Dallas until she could get a car so she could properly take care of her baby told me, with fierce determination, "I really seriously plan on having a car two weeks from Friday." When I told her about my travels she buried her face in her hands and shook her head so her myriad of little braids rained down and knocked the paper napkin from my lap and onto the floor. "You coulda given me all that money for a car!" I tried to explain to her how frugal I was, but it didn't matter. It was still enough for a car. When I further elaborated on my plans for the day she scolded me. "I’ve been here for 20 days," she said, "and even I know you don’t walk around in Dallas. It’s not safe. That’s what your gonna do?"

I did wander around Dallas, for a little bit. It wasn't for a threat to my safety that I stopped. There just wasn't anybody there. It was Labor Day. I finally went to the big city bus hub--where no one was reading--and asked for directions to a shopping mall. People like to read at shopping malls.

At the shopping mall I found readers and I went ice skating. I love ice skating.

Though the shopping mall was huge, there was not a single bookstore. I stared at the mall directory, under the category, Gifts, Books Cards, Stationery, reading it over and over, sure I was just overlooking a Barnes and Nobles, a Walden Books. I got a second opinion and it was confirmed. There used to be a bookstore, but it went out of business a few months ago.

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