All Rights Reserved
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 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 causing blisters.
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 find.
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 material.
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 blog!
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 another chapter.
Thankfully it was one that picked up right on the heels of the last, that flat-screened device in my pocket I’ve not always been 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.