Not far from the first apartment where I lived in this neighborhood, lies this mysterious abandoned shop called The Dodecahedron. In the beginning I did not see it much, as it was abandoned and frankly a bit frightening for a foreigner that just moved in. It seemed to be there since the beginning of times. So I avoided walking in that direction, and everything was fine between me and the place.

With time I became intrigued by its presence. In the poster near the door, it mentions “ancient and modern books – history and military – religions and esoterica”. And since I arrived, ten years ago or so, it has been empty. For some time I imagined secret night ceremonies happening there, or the life of an old shopkeeper that would sell only ancient books on the back of the store to a select few, or that it was a meeting place for some old lineage of sages.

Some years later I wondered if I could buy and run the place, filling it with some new age literature and eastern philosophy. I would picture myself sitting in a dusty office in the back, inspecting second-hand books and exchanging letters with correspondents in far away countries like Mongolia or Bhutan. In this dreams, I would be part of a ring of international bookshops that were working silently to redeem the world and live a calm and benevolent life.

As I grew used to it, passed in front of it late at night or early in the morning, these fantasies – which I am still unsure that are complete fantasies – faded away. Lately, since I moved to a new apartment, not far away from the old one, and adopted a more regular routine with the problems that come as we grow old in life, I start noticing it again. The Dodecahedron became part of the landscape, in one of the least nice parts of the neighborhood, and some sort of affection grew in me for the place.

From time to time, I stop in front of it, asking myself for how long it has been there and for how long it will stay. I fear for it, as I fear for an old relative, that we know will be leaving this world one of this days. I stand there, looking to the empty stores through the windows, and daydreaming a different life.

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