Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Guy With A Book On A Bus


Years ago, when I was living in Houston, I took the bus every day from my apartment near the Houston Post building to downtown. It was a short commute and I almost always got a little reading in during the commute. Lots of people read and one of the most memorable was a guy I saw nearly every day. He was the kind of guy I'm most inclined to notice – big, muscular, always dressed in work clothes, blue jeans with a t-shirt or sweatshirt. He carried a lunch pail and he always had a book. I noticed him because a.) he was the sort of guy I notice, and b.) he read interesting books.

The first time I noticed him was one morning when we were directly across from each other. He had dark hair and heavy dark eyebrows and a tough-looking, sober face. During the entire ride he never looked up from the paperback he was absorbed in, On the Road by Jack Kerouac. I appreciated his choice. He got off the bus a couple stops before mine at a construction site. He stood up, stuffed the book in his hip pocket, picked up his lunch pail and jumped off the bus without ever glancing up. After that first notice, I saw him often. He always had a book and his books were always mass market paperbacks that looked pretty beaten up, like he got them in a thrift shop.

During the time we commuted on the same bus he read Herman Wouk's The Winds of War, James Jones' From Here to Eternity, a lot of James Clavell and Norman Mailer, some Henry Miller. I sometimes wondered if he chose the books specifically or if he just read what was available to him. Sometimes when I saw him reading a book I loved I wanted to talk to him but he didn't look like the talking type. The truth is, in the several years that we both rode that bus, we never said a word to each other.

I thought about this because there have been a lot of pictures on Facebook and other such sites lately of fine looking men, lost in a book. I appreciate them and they made me remember a guy on a bus from long ago. Reading is sexy. An attractive man completely lost in a great book is very sexy. And very memorable.

Thanks for reading.

3 comments:

  1. What a great post! I felt like I was riding along with you. You're right, a man lost in a book is a good thing. I tutored some tough high school kids one time who told me it wasn't cool to be caught with books. How awesome for a man to change that perception. Great blog!

    Tela

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  2. Beautifully written 2/3 of a short story. Everything but the ending. On the other hand, I am an idiot to look for what I look for.
    John Klawitter

    P.S. Thanks for the instructions on how to sell ebooks directly. Well done!

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  3. Thank you very much. I'd love to know where that guy is now.

    ReplyDelete

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