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She was the kind of consumer most publishers ignored, and some even feared. A
free thinker who walked through life unaffected from their conditioning tactics, her
bright brown eyes used to going straight for a book’s description while bypassing
the blurbs that graffitied its covers and first few pages.
She understood the art of story on all its levels, including the fact that what is not
written is just as important as what is, the sixth sense of reading between the lines
indeed taking her not only on a journey from the outside looking in, but much
deeper. Like slipping one’s foot into an old comfortable shoe, as opposed to a stiff
new one, that instant perfect fit, those flashy boasting blurbs good for nothing but
She had caught my eye from the very start, her silk plentiful hair piled atop her
head with a chopstick piercing right through it, immediately bringing to mind the
idiom Food for Thought. So fitting for her whole persona I would later come to
Through the train’s foot traffic I inched my way closer, until I found the face that
the head of hair adorned. Although looking down its beauty was still undeniable,
the way only pure and simple can be. No make-up, or at least not enough to realize
there was any, that natural aesthetic look like an elegant painting from long ago.
I just had to see what captured her interest, so I squeezed past more commuters,
hoping it wasn’t a cellphone involving text messages.
It was an e-reader she held in her hands, the front and back covers like a leather-
bound book. She was scrolling, but not tapping, reading, no chatting, so hope was
still alive that she wasn’t one of those social-media-obsessed swipers.
Thankfully she was seated by a door, so I positioned myself to where I appeared to
be exiting at the next stop, now right above her so I could look down at her reading
When I saw what was on the screen I fell into a moment of surrealism, the words
echoing throughout me because they had actually come from me! This woman who
had caught my eye and drawn me in was reading one of my short stories on my
I felt both proud and shy, eager to say something yet speechless and nervous. What
if she had just come upon it, and wasn’t that impressed but seeing it through?
Maybe that natural beauty was covering up how she really felt. Or maybe I was
just an artist in doubt.
But before I could think of what to do next the train had come to a stop and
passengers were pushing past me, some voicing their irritation of me blocking their
way as I fought to stay alongside this wonderful reader. With one hand grasping
tightly onto the hand bar attached to her seat I used my other to fish out one of my
bookmarks, the logo of my blog printed on this piece of thin plastic allowing me to
spread the word a bit at just six cents a pop.
Never before had I wanted so badly to pass along one of my poor-man ads, even
more so than in my occasional dreams of trying to make contact with Oprah. But I
was losing ground, about to be swept away by the exiting crowd.
At the very last second she looked up to see what all the commotion was about,
probably feeling quite surreal as well to see this guy awkwardly reaching out to
hand her this flimsy piece of plastic with the logo of the blog she was reading.
Through this slow motion moment I watched as her eyes widened, her hand
coming up to take it from mine right before I was whisked away off the car and
into a train station I had never set foot in before.
I looked to the window at her back and there she was, staring out of it with that
naturally beautiful smile, the sight like an elegant painting from long ago. Our eyes
stayed connected for as long as they could, until the train took her away into
Thankfully it was one that picked up right on the heels of the last, that flat-
screened device in my pocket I was not always a fan of notifying me that someone
had sent me a message via my blog’s comment section.
And from there it was happily-ever-after.