From Unremitting Failure:
Marcel Proust spent seven volumes trying to recapture his lost childhood. All we had to do to regain ours was walk into a cold concrete block building sitting just off the Accomac Road outside Hellam, Pennsylvania.
The building is home to Toomey’s Auction House and was full of stuff due to be auctioned off the next day. Dead peoples’ stuff, most likely. We agreed to go along with our sister and our mom who are unrepentent antiquers but no sooner were we there than we wanted to scream. It was crammed to the roof beams with the horrors of our formative years. And it all came back to us, the times we’d spent in places just like Toomeys. It had the same musty smell and the same musty people and the same sad boxes filled with anonymous junk and the same sad “snack bar” that in the great order of snack bars sits about fourteen rungs below the old-style bowling alley “snack bar” which back in our childhood was about the saddest place you can imagine, what with its air of beyond beatnik squalor that years later we would romanticize but which stank of bad food and abandoned kids and bowling shoe disinfectant, so to say that the Toomey’s Auction House snack bar is far sadder than one of those snack bars is the same as saying it is easily one of the saddest and most desolate places in the world.
More here. [Thanks to Bryon Giddens-White.]