***After leaving the Pagoda, it only makes sense to hop back onto 63 and head a bit further away from Amherst to the little town of Montague. I lived in this house in the center of town a long time ago. I sat in a rocking chair on that porch and read one whole summer. My kick-ass poetry professor lived down the street, and we all woke up one morning to a bear in the yard. Very fond memories.
The Montague Bookmill is an old mill on an old river near some old homes in an old town. It is not air conditioned on a hot July day. In fact, the door is kept shut tight. The largest wasps you've ever seen take out their fury on a window by the biography section. And among these books--all these smart books--you want to know everything. You want to read uninterrupted and learn medieval history and read wartime letters. I do, anyway. On this morning, only one other person attempted to climb up to the second floor, which was a blazing inferno that smells like your grandmother's attic. I was a disgusting, drippy, happy mess up there.
This may have been followed by a very expensive trip to Hastings for marvelous pens and notebooks. A girl needs to be inspired. And this leads me to the second main point to my trip (after the Peace Pagoda): I started writing a book. That feels so weird to write. Like a deep secret. But there it is. And so, from Amherst, I headed to the most inspirational, air-conditioned spot I could think of. The Mount Holyoke College library. Walking toward it, I decided I might have been more inclined to study if my college library looked like a castle.
***Now, it's not that I've never been to Bub's in Sunderland before...
It's just that I've never been there sober. But cut me some slack; I was a college kid. And believe me when I say that I was amazed to see that it's just as chaotic and freaky sober as it is high as a kite.
I think it's a rule that BBQ joints have enormous menus on the wall that are meant to confuse. And I think it's also a rule that the layout is designed poorly for coming and going. I ordered wrong, I was constantly in the way, and only felt sort of okay once I was seated. It felt exactly as it did 15 years ago. So I tried a little of everything, under the watchful eye of a four-year-old girl whose father sat quietly drinking a beer. Yeah, it's a lot of food, but I had to sample everything. And no, I was not part of the clean plate club that night. The rice was super spicy. Yummers. My only complaint: It seems unlawful for a BBQ joint to not have corn bread. WTF?here.