Thursday, July 23, 2009

Book of poems in the city

I like that. It is the comment made by his seat mate inside the early morning train which he barely heard. He was just in the process of catching his breath while settling in inside the subway train. Earlier, he was running down the escalator so he can make the inbound train. So when he heard this comment, he paused for few seconds, smiled and graciously acknowledged the stranger.

Oh, thank you. He forced another smile because he was holding a book of poems, as if he was embarrassed to be seen reading it. Embarrass is probably not the right word. Perhaps, lack of confidence is more appropriate since he just started exploring poetry book reading.

He started not so long ago with a select poems by Robert Frost but he is still having a hard time understanding the deeper meaning of each line. He was finally going to add some more to his thank you, to say something about Emily Dickinson, on how she was not popular during her time. He was going to try to sway the conversation out of the poems but he was interrupted.

Did you know they are identified by their paint job? The stranger was referring to the lighthouse printed on his laptop bag. His laptop bag has a light house and a mini cooper on both the front and back. It was like a heavy weight was lifted off his shoulders. He was glad that he didn't have to explain what he likes, or does not like, about the poems.

No, not at all. Does this one look familiar to you? He was now at ease and the conversation was flowing smoother because, in his mind, he was not going to be judged anymore by what reads or does not read. But then again, it was all in his mind.


(The photo above was taken in on 18th St. in San Francisco during the longest day of summer)

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