Monday, February 2, 2009

Grab a Chair

We live in Washington.  The state fair is in Puyallup.  My friend Jill, many times over the years has a standard quip for whiners who say, "That's NOT FAIR"!  She'll say, 'If you want fair, go to Puyallup.    We get a grip quickly, sheepishly.....   

But in this story, these guys weren't playing fair, really really!  And Jill's not here, so I'm tellin'.

A couple of years ago after a 2 week retreat all by myself, the same time as the' Winnie in the Window' story happened, the day before I left for home, decided to go out into society and picked Barnes and Noble.  Bad timing girlfriend!   

As per normal, I carried a huge big stack of books to a group of 3 chairs, sat in the end one, got comfortable and started slurping words.  When I'm in this zone, I'm living inside the book, wherever the author wants to take me.  Unaware of my surroundings.  Highly unaware.  It takes a lot to distract me or wrench me away.  

A handicapped 30ish something man sat down  in the middle chair of the 3, next to me.  He had 2 very large, thick reference type books, each open in his lap and I curiously looked up as he was turning the pages of both simultaneously but scanning all 4 pages before he did so.  There was a rhythm to it and audible noises of what could have been pleasure, grief, pain, awe, whatever. It was a little distracting as it got louder and louder. 

A young. immaculately dressed college aged boy sat down in the remaining chair after a bit. He started to look itchy right away, but if you know Barnes and Noble, you know that chairs are a premium and not to be given up lightly. He caught my eye a few times, probably thinking we were together, hoping I would calm this strange behavior.   Once those big books got to the end, he would start flipping them the other direction.   

Out of the corner of my eye I saw an older man signing to him and kind of lurking behind me. The moaning page turner stopped what he was doing, leaned over between him and the college kid and blew a mighty farmer blow, with tremendous results spewing all over the floor in between the 2 chairs.  If you don't know what a farmer blow is, it's when you hold one nostril shut and blow out the other one, when you're desperate for kleenex out in the field but have nothing handy.  It is purely a desperate measure, not to be used indoors or in society. Usually a very private thing! It's not pretty.  

The young man looked at me horror stricken and sprang out of his seat like it was on fire, and I think he even left the store.  I was in shock, paralyzed by the stack of books on the arms of the chair, on my lap and the pile on the floor, but not too paralyzed to start dry heaving and gagging.  I seriously thought I was going to have to just open my purse and use it for a barf bag.   

The older man who had signed to the moaning page turner, sat down in the emptied chair, casually crossed his legs, nodded to the moaning page turner to continue on, then smiled and winked at me, as if to say, now isn't this cozy.   

I stayed a little while longer, but totally lost my appetite for the written word or anything else. The moaning page turner got louder and faster and started looking lustfully, not at me, but my stack of books.  Takes a lot to make me nervous, but I finally left my hard-to-come-by chair and left the store.  Was it a conspiracy or happenstance.   Did the college kid recover? And I didn't have a chance to write down the titles of those lovely books.     


Anonymous said...

As I read, I was captured! How will this mystery end? I'm asking myself the same questions that you stated as I read farther and farther on. I'm thinking of Paul Harvey's "the rest of the story" as the story moves on. Then as the story ends left "hanging". Please, there has to be an end. Make one up!!!!
You stuck around a lot longer than I could Have!

KoverB said...

I wish I had an end of the story too, but most of life we never know the ending or the why or what really was happening. Makes me crazy! So if it makes you crazy too, anonymous, then I'm not alone. :) YEAH!