Friday, September 21, 2012

Missed Connection, Connected

There is this image I saw once of a man and women exchanging glances through separate subway car windows while they are both holding the exact same book. It's a cartoon illustration and I could never figure out if they were making eye contact with one another or with each other's covers. This happens to me sometimes. It's never happened with the exact same book, nor on the subway. However, it has happened to me on the bus with different kind of books. I think my body notices the presents of literature first and then my mind gets this hunger like I've got to know exactly what they're reading. Once that happens and I've obtained a glance of the cover, a snippet of the author's name.. Well usually I am then found out that I am staring so hard and the reader makes eye contact with me but I can never truly be sure they are looking at me directly or now interested in what I am reading. Sometimes you come across someone so engrossed in their novel you cannot even make out their face. You see the entire cover of their book and you almost want to know what their expression looks like. You could then feel this connection with them and it would bind you to them and to their story. I fall in love with people's book covers on the bus. It is a quick fleeting love that lasts only minutes. You slip into a trance, dazed and flattered. You are greedy for their attention. You want to know their thoughts and feel the pages and ask questions like if it is bought or borrowed? It never happens that you have a seemingly interesting conversation with any of these readers, usually no conversation at all. Your snapped out of your timely love with a bell and a shuffle as your dearly beloved closes the book, tucks it away, and dashes off into whatever direction - home or party or place they must get too. It happens to me all the time. Maybe you and I once were in love for a brief little encounter, and it was easy just us and book covers and space and little noises blocked out by the voices in our heads reading every little detail on those pages; and that love, our love, was the easiest kind of love. Sometimes I miss these people I don't even know, haven't really met, but I find you there when I go and open that book I saw you with.

(Adrian Tomine that print changed my life)

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