a few weeks ago, at the beginning of the new year, i was reading a book in our classroom at naptime, when i caught The Smart Lady staring at me. with a sly grin, i asked her, "are you... gazing at me because i'm so awesome and good looking???"
that i was kidding took a little of the sting away when she said "no" in the manner in which she did, but, still... Winston Churchill would have envied such resounding confidence and clarity. she was like, "NO! of COURSE not!" and/or, "NO!!! ...eww!"
naturally, my ego was slightly bruised, but what she said next left me so baffled that i didn't have any time to wallow...
she: "i really thought that said 'Dick Horny'."
she: "your book-- at first, i really thought that said 'Dick Horny'."
and thus began my new year's resolution to read more often.
for the record, i was reading "about a boy" --a book by a guy called (wait for it...) Nick Hornby. brilliantly written, really. hysterical and unexpectedly tender. i knew exactly how much i was enjoying it on the day The Smart Lady misread the author's name, because i couldn't put it down on the train-- even after the thought occurred to me that other people might make her same mistake. "wow," i thought, "how many people are watching me read this thing with a smile on my face, laughing out loud every other four minutes, and are thinking to themselves, 'Dick Horny!? ...gross! what a perv!'"
on this particular day, i was specifically wondering about the woman sitting across from me. i've never spoken to her, but, in my mind, her name is rita-- because she reminds me, somehow, of what i think the beatles' "lovely rita, meter maid" would look like (which, i know, doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but whatever). she almost always has her head in a book, and i'd almost always wanted to ask her what she was reading.
i dunno, something about her tells me that she's a really interesting person, full of interesting things to say, and a point of view that i wouldn't necessarily agree with, but would surely find thought-provoking.
and i'm not even attracted to her (and, even if i were, i'm kind of crushing on someone else at the moment). i don't think i've ever thought about her when i wasn't on the train. but whenever she would sit across from me, i'd find myself wondering about her-- how many brothers and sisters she had, and where she went to school. and if she enjoyed working as a meter maid, and who her favorite character was on the simpsons.
and, on this day, i wondered how completely inappropriate it would be-- on a scale of one to ten-- to begin our first-ever conversation by saying, "y'know, i don't know what you were thinking, but, i mean... this doesn't say Dick Horny, so... uhm..."
yeah... probably like a nine?
anyway, i was so distracted by these thoughts that i wound up forgetting my gloves on the train. which i thought might make for a cool opening conversation the next day. she'd see me and say, "hey there. i noticed that you forgot your gloves on the train yesterday, so i picked them up for you. my name is rita." and i would say, "well, thank you! so nice of you, rita! ...what are you reading today?" and she'd say, "oh, it's a new book by a dude named Penis McRandypants." and i'd say, "oh, wow! what a coincidence, because..."
...but, no. it never happened. no conversation. she was probably too busy with her head in her book to even notice my gloves.
which immediately made her far less interesting to me.
the five things i fell in love with today...
1) all this to say, "about a boy" is among the very best books i've ever read. and a mighty fine movie, too-- one of my favorites!
2) Winston Churchill.
3) a really good pair of gloves.
4) The Smart Lady.
5) portland, oregon.
song of the day...
"lovely rita" by the beatles
movie of the day...
"strangers on a train"