Matt Emerson takes an encounter in a bookstore, gives it some literary spin and then leaves us with something to think about:
His brow is smudged with condensation and his shirt smeared with sweat. The shirt, draping him like a large towel, looks just-pulled from a washer, but a washer that doesn’t clean and in fact is not a washer at all. It’s supposed to be a collared shirt, but by mysterious exertions it is now a v-neck. His chest, visible through the v, makes me think of gaunt children in third-world countries.
He ambles toward the table. From pants blotched with paint he removes a mess of tissue. He pats his forehead and half-collapses into a small chair. The movements are uncoordinated, awkward. He is not at peace.
Carefully, he arranges books.
Others nearby, aware of anomaly, look up with displeasure and anxiety.
Is he going to make a scene?
I waited for Ed and listened to some Canada Geese flying overhead, and other birds in the trees surrounding me. I became aware as if for the first time how—when a gentle breeze rustles the leaves—it is like a wave rushing toward shore. It would start in one tall tree, and then move from one to another.