Monday, November 12, 2007

Read to Me

I spent part of my lunch break from work today at a bookstore in Horton Plaza. I was eager to look at the bargain books as a cast member had loaned me a book, and I wanted to see if I could pick up any of the author's other books on the cheap as I am loving this book (who are you Ken Follett, and how do you come up with such vivid characters?).

As I was kneeling and perusing the titles, a group of raucous thirteen and fourteen year olds entered the store. Another patron and I shared in a quiet laugh and an eye roll as the store, which had heretofore been fairly quiet, became filled with shouts of "Hey, look at this!" and "I don't like books." One of the boys approached me with a book and asked me if I worked there; I looked down at my ID badge from a different company to see if it was facing the correct way. I then looked him in the eye and told him that I didn't.

As I finished speaking with that boy, another boy approached me from behind with a hardcover book that I assume was about World War II as it had a large swastika on the back of it. I looked up at him, as I was still kneeling, and he said, "Will you read this book to me?" Normally, I would have smiled and played along for a moment, but for some reason, this boy ran into a cranky AC today.

"No, I won't," I answered, oddly curt. This seemed to confuse him, and he asked me if I could read, to which I replied that I could, but that I wouldn't read that book to him. Still confused, he walked away and rejoined his friends as they were exiting the store. I spent a little more time browsing the books, and I came across the book that he had had in the wrong place in the shelves.

This got me thinking: I had assumed that he had just been screwing around and asking me to read to him for the sake of bothering me, but what if he hadn't been? Sure, it's a pretty ridiculous thing to ask of somebody you don't know, but what if he had been in earnest when he asked me? Why had I dismissed him so systematically?

I'm not sure I understand how to be a grown-up. I'm pretty sure that when I do, I'll have become the person I never intended to be. I hope that that is for better than it is for worse, but with incidents like today being added to the canon of my life, the future doesn't look rosy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

maybe he wanted you to read to him