On the northern side of Roseland, Old Town sat in the corporate shadow of skyscrapers. Brick buildings housed craft shops, pubs, and apartments where artists and bartenders lived. Evening shoppers in search of the next must-have statement weaved around packs of hippies. Marijuana smoke so heavy, the haze threatened light from streetlamps. Caught between Old Town and downtown Roseland on a nearly vacant side street, Augustus found his destination. It was another brick building which he might have missed if not for the sign stopping him in his tracks.
Kandy Fangs seemed like an odd name for a record store. The kay and eff had unnatural descenders with a candy swirl dripping like blood from fangs.
Augustus checked his note, and sure enough, this was the correct address. Through the window, he could see rows of tables holding cardboard boxes. A young couple thumbed through music albums within a box. Augustus felt like moving on, but the odd shop title pulled him toward the door like a mosquito to a lantern.
The scents of fresh wood and floor cleaner welcomed Augustus, and a snappy tune calmed his nerves. Danceable, he thought, Susan would have enjoyed it. The couple talked excitedly over an album. Behind a small counter in the corner, a woman sat quietly on a stool. She flipped through a magazine without a glance at Augustus approaching her.
“Been open long?” asked Augustus. Doubts about Jack Mills ever coming here began to sink in.
The clerk flipped a page and continued reading. “Two months,” she said.