Wednesday, October 05, 2011

the people sitting beside me at the bookstore

Middle-aged woman, large patchwork bag slung over her shoulder. She smells like baby powder and milk and pulls a homemade muffin from her bag discretely. She sits and eats the muffin, staring vacantly at something above my shoulder, then leaves.

Old man in an oversized dress jacket. He's got a stack of history books piled high around him, like a fortress. He spends his time playing on his phone and calling his grandson, Jim. He wheezes into the phone and asks when he is expected for dinner, he is busy and might not make it.

Mother and son, bickering about how to pay for the damages to his car. Mother thinks he can sell his old guitars on Craigslist, son announces that Craigslist is the biggest scam in the world and only suckers go on it, everyone knows that. Son smells unbathed and mother wears too much perfume. They stay for hours, son watching YouTube on his laptop and mother interrupting to talk about his future, his potential. They leave empty cans and crumpled napkins on table.

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