Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Four Readers, One Paramour, One Writer

The woman next to me, waiting for the flight, is impeccably dressed in business attire. But she wears a frown. Does she not like to travel? I find that hard to believe. She seems like one of those people who can travel for a week and still look attractive.

There is no wedding ring on her finger; I think her lover causes her frown. Only someone as attractive as she could put that frown on her face. She has a book in her hand, but she isn’t reading it. She wears an expression as if she is sitting in a meeting and pretending to listen. But she is not. She and I would get along. I know this expression well. My heart goes out to her, when I think of my wife, she makes me smile. This woman needs someone like that. She doesn’t need a man to complete her, she simply needs someone who will never take her for granted.

The man to the other side of me does not look entirely too happy either, but I believe the focus of his ire is the book in his hand. It is a thick, trashy techno thriller. Perhaps he was trying to relive the apex of Tom Clancy’s releases. That will be difficult. He and I would also get along. How many trashy techno thrillers have I stopped reading? Frankly, I have lost count. I bet he has too.

The young couple sitting across from me can’t keep their hands off each other. She reads a bad magazine, one of those awful glossies by women, for women. But she is intently reading it, unlike the prior two passengers, in-between the occasional autopilot caress she hands out to her mate. She even hums a little tune as she devours the text.

The handsome and athletic young man she is with simply is reading her. His eyes drink of her as if she was a glass of peach juice. She does not know he is devouring her with his eyes. They hold hands, and despite the hormones they are throwing about, it is very sweet. I believe the young man is thinking about babies. As in wanting one. With her.

The young handsome man is smarter than he looks. We would get along, these two and I. They would make me feel young just by basking in their hormonal glow, and I would enchant them with tales of my children, who I miss.

The last reader sits next to this couple. He is so far gone into his book, I believe the only way he is going to catch his flight is if he notices people leaving. It is a non-fiction title, and I have read the same book. I feel he and I would get along. I would love to discus that very book. The thought provoking and a bit disturbing insights made one rethink the unthinkable. Not a book one keeps inside, book born to not simply for reading, but discussion.

I cannot help but wonder what happened to those readers. Did the businesswoman reconcile her desires with her wayward lover? Did the techno thriller reader find his Tom Clancy replacement, and if he did, who was it? Did the couple go on to have beautiful children? I am thinking they did. And the last reader, the man with the provocative book, did he find someone to talk with him about the subject matter within? If so, who was it, and did they share the same opinion, or did it cause an argument?

There has always been a social network of readers, and sometimes they beckon me like a moth to a flame. Occasionally, I will introduce myself and talk about the text in question. But I try not to. My observations of their existence, if only for a moment in a forgotten day for a forgotten flight, is precious. A slice of life, connected by words, intertwined with a story, connected by flesh and blood. I do not want to interrupt their reading time. If you can’t read at an airport, where can you read?

I love readers.


  1. mmmm...yes, readers are delicious. there's a kindred spirit, a sense of shared lineage, when I see another reader -- especially the intent kind, the ones who are lost to the world around them.

  2. "A glass of peach juice..." I just love that! The post was wonderful. I wanted to be sitting there looking at all those people, too. Readers are wonderful, particularly intent ones. They're engaging with the text. They're being transported.

  3. If they are looking for a Tom Clancy replacement, that would be me.... don't I wish.


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