Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Old Man With A Book

I'm awfully distracted and lonely right now. There's an older gentleman wearing orange and sitting a few chairs down from me, inhaling loudly and pondering a book deeply. I'm tempted to ask him what he's reading because I haven't had that much social interaction today/tonight. - Comica


I saw that you were looking at me. Were I your age, or even half my age, I might try to strike up a conversation. When I was younger, it was never a problem. Just look at the title of the book you are reading, make up some nonsense about the author or subject, and in a half an hour the two of us are sharing coffee, and in an hour, well...

The lonely ones. Only works with the lonely ones. A smile is free, and if its a good one it works nearly every time. But now I'm the lonely one, reading in a library because it makes me feel a little less old to be surrounded by young people. The book? Its OK, a biography, with a good sense of the times the subject lived in. High-class escapism- like a romance novel with a brain.

The idea of romance. Something to live for, an open future, an evolving existence with someone else. When the two of you close that door, the rest of the world disappears. The cruelty of age is romance like that still beckons, but the door of the future is closed.

Talk? Sure, I'll talk, but no coffee, thanks- hard on my arteries, the wheezing is a sign of a weak heart and caffeine doesn't help one bit. My dreams are scarce enough, sleeping through the night is only a distant memory.

But thanks for noticing me. Just thinking about this helps a lot. I'll go home alone tonight, I guess we have that in common. My fire still smolders and keeps me warm but the full blaze which is you would burn me up.

By Professor Batty



4 Comments:

Blogger Comica said...

He had several books crowded around him. One about cheerleading, another filled with surveys, a history of something...

If I return to the library and see him again, I will ask him why he picked those books and that I'm also fond of orange.


Blogger Kristín said...

Kind of reminds me of that elderly distinguished gentleman who asked me out for a drink in Surrey, when I was 22.

I ran in terror.


Blogger Professor Batty said...

Comica- a book on Cheerleading? Once again truth is stranger than fiction...

Kristin- Possibly harmless, probably not...


Blogger reetsyburger said...

Jesus. I'm a little spooked.

I did the same thing last night, Comica, and this was before I read the blog.

An older man was sitting alone and reading a book at Artist's Quarter and I approached him to ask him what he was reading.

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