I was shutting down my laptop at Starbucks a little while ago before coming here to the Library, and as I did so a mildly spiky-haired blonde young man said to me, “Oh, you’re on Facebook, good!” My impression is that he was surprised because I looked too OLD to be on something this trendy!
A bit defensively, perhaps, I replied, “550 million people, or something, are on Facebook. I read half the people in America are!”
Our discussion didn’t really go anywhere; I think I kept subconsciously trying to prove my youth. But I wanted to connect with him. As I was about to finally get out of there, I saw he was reading a book.
Ordinarily, I feel a bit of trepidation about asking someone what he/she is reading. This stems from an experience I had when I was a delivery courier, of blithely asking a receptionist what she was reading, to make conversation, you know, and she showed me the book cover, and it was like, “BLOOD HORROR TALES,” or something.
But the book THIS young fellow was reading, I could tell, was an upscale publication, crisp, thick-ish, beige-ish pages, and it was “spanking new”…I thought maybe we could end up in a friendly way discussing some literary work.
So I asked, and when he turned his cover to me—that’s what people do; they don’t tell you what they’re reading, they show you the cover (why not?)—and it says KAMA SUTRA, and there are various fancifully drawn, brightly coloured (and nicely proportioned) human bodies, of various bright hues, in what look a little like yoga postures. “Do you know about this?” he asks.
“Sure, I heard about it in high school,” I say. And I remember my friend, A.B. who stole a copy from his dad, or something, and we’d all laughed one night, turning the pages.
So he says, “Have you tried it? It’s the mastery of love! You should try it!”
“Well, I’m not sure we’re that bendable anymore!” I saw a guy at another table, closer to my age than my younger conversation partner’s, smile at that. “But I’m certainly working on the mastery of love!”
And that seemed like a good place to gather all my stuff and go out the door with a cheery goodbye!