I Love You, Bernard Black

Dear Bernard,

Hi, please don’t shout at me. I don’t know if you’ll read this when I mail it to you, because you’ll probably leave it in a pizza box somewhere until it becomes alive. I can be your Summer Girl! The one that you wanted. I have hair! I’ll play tennis and wear dresses.

I can even do that dance you do, with you. The one where you hop around while holding your pant-legs up. Yes, the graceful drunken dance that would fill anyone with envy, lust, and confusion.

I Love You, Bernard Black by Amanda Wood


The way that you insult poor, stupid Manny makes my heart flutter with delight. Not because Manny is an idiot, but because you’re calling him Genghis Khan or Lord of the Rings. You fired him for being a great bookstore employee, but rehired him for just… having a bottle of wine at that moment. You could probably stand to be nicer to Manny but, honestly, I think he likes it.

I have a Manny, too. And a Fran! I don’t yell at them, though. But, I mention it because it is something we have in common.

More importantly, you’re filthy and rude and constantly surrounded by a cloud of cigarette smoke and the scent of stale wine… but I bet you wouldn’t bother me if I left you alone too. Just hassle Manny rather than me and we’ll get along great. Plus, you appear to be empathetic enough to know how everyone around you feels, not that you care much.

Although wine isn’t my preference, I’d keep you stocked with it, both in bookshop and in your kitchen, right behind. Plenty of wine! Dozens of bottles! For every day of the week!

All my life I’ve wanted to own a bookstore, but never did I know how I’d run it until I watched Black Books. Shelves crowded with random books in an inexplicable order, a grumpy cashier who doesn’t actually want to sell anything, sticky floors and mollusks. The perfect combination to hoard books in solitude.

And in the autumn, you can ditch me, cause I’m your Summer Girl.




P.S. I’m so sorry that Manny ate all your dead bees. I’ll bring you some more.

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