Sometimes you just gotta know
There it was. A small advertisement in the Reader: “Myopic Fine Books” at 1564 N. Milwaukee. It stopped me cold. “Myopic?” Doesn’t that mean “shortsighted?” “Shortsighted Books”?
With a sigh, I reached for my Oxford American.
“ my-o-pi-a — n. nearsightedness; lack of imagination, foresight, or intellectual insight. . . . my-op-ic adj.”
I dialed the store’s phone number.
“It’s shrouded in mystery,” said store manager Catherine Behan.
There was a pause. I thought there’d be more, but there wasn’t. That was it.
“Shrouded in mystery — it really is,” she continued. “There’s different theories, if you read too much. . . .”
The store is 16 years old. Behan has worked there for six years and no, she doesn’t know if she’s related to the Irish playwright either (“I’m not really much help, am I?” she said).
“The logo is a big, huge occult-looking eyeball,” she said. “So maybe that has something to do with it.”
Another why-don’t-youhang-up-now? silence, which I filled with questions.
She said the owner, Joseph Judd, was not available to elaborate.
“He’s farming,” she explained. On Mars, apparently, or some place beyond the reach of modern commu- nications.
“Just say, ‘It’s shrouded in mystery.’ That’s the best answer,” she persisted.
I don’t argue much, but I argued here. “Shrouded in mystery” isn’t the best answer for my curious readers.
She laughed an I-don’tcare laugh.
So there you have it: It’s a mystery. Some things are mysteries. The Easter Island statues. The Loch Ness monster. Myopic Books.