everytime i am in a bookstore, i feel tears prick the corners of my eyes.
dozens of bookcovers beckon my eyes to linger, with striking photos and shiny print and glittery illustrations. signs call my attention to “new non-fiction,” “inspirational reads” and “twilight fans!”
i sit in the corner, drinking flavored coffee at extortionate prices. next to me is a towering stack of the most eye-catching books, some by writers i’ve read multiple books by, some by unfamiliar names. my mind dances through the self-deprecation and humor of memoirists, the strokes of brilliance in the turn of phrase and plotting of story.
emotion starts to coat the hollow gap i now feel right below my sternum, a chilly layer of wobbly gelled tears that i refuse to let come out. words push me through the first chapters of each book, beautiful words, colloquial words, intelligent words, profane words, inspiring words.
and there in the very middle of a poppy little book on a writer and what good films have taught him, he tells his son that Andre Gide, a french writer, used to get enraged while walking down the street, upset that others passing him couldn’t see the greatness in his eyes, couldn’t see the masterpiece he would one day create.
Gide went on to win a Nobel.
i am not prone to rage. but i am prone to soft crying.
and knowing that someone else feels the screaming needy child that inner greatness can be, knowing that someone else feels that emptiness that comes from wondering if the people who don’t know you ever will care to remember your name.
and i realize i’ve been sitting in this corner chair, time and patrons passing before my unseeing eyes.
i put my books back, gather my things and stroll to the door, fingers grazing several tables, seeing for the first time the christmas themed books, the holly trim on signs.
i feel my throat tighten and the corners of my eyes start to fill. and just in time, i duck out the door and into the night.