It's the gloomy season in Providence; days of graphite skies and weeping ceilings. A good climate for brooding or even, for those so inclinded, reading. And yet business is languid at old Ada Books. Business is lazy and won't bend a mean finger to turn a page or to unfold a dollar bill. I don't understand it. But then, I don't understand almost everything. For example, why does this grey atmosphere repel friends, acquaintances and good customers while seeming to encourage visits from the thrifty and the weird? I'd rather be alone than discuss mafia history or the mysteries of Lovecraft's gravestone with the thrifty and the weird. In fact, I'm not sure they aren't but figments -- annoying, cheap figments. But then there are the wet footprints on the floor. And a strange stink. I may be broodsome, but I don't stink. Or if I do, I don't think I'd suddenly find it strange. It's the gloomy season in Providence.