The Tower of Babel (And it All Falls Down)

Mr. Pickett had the most books I had ever seen in one place. There were books stacked on shelves, which sagged in the middle under their tremendous burden. There were books in towers on the floor, bent at procarious angles, which, surprisingly, never quite fell over. There were books on tables, under the couch, and in boxes in the attic, as well as the basement.

I had never been in a house with quite as much dust as Mr. Pickett’s house, either. My nine-year-old mind reasoned that, perhaps, the dust came from the books.

But there were no candles. Mr. Picket was careful about that. He didn’t want his precious book museum to turn into kindling.

Out of all the books Mr. Pickett had, his favorite was an old, worn, brown Bible, which surprised me, because he was not one bit religious.

“We’re building ourselves a Tower of Babel, here,” he was fond of saying to me. I would nod stupidly in response. “Yes,” he’d continue, “You just wait, boy. It’s all gonna come crashing down. You just wait and see.”

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