Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Bathroom Monologue: The Joy of Re-Reading

To Kill a Mockingbird was Maureen's favorite book, even though she'd never read it. She carried it for years. She had her story down -- her father had given her this copy when she turned twelve, and it had been with her through high school, college and the workplace ever since. That was all true. What she did was stare at the pages, not actually reading, but thinking over whatever was on her mind that day. It was the perfect excuse to keep men or chatty old women from talking to her in the dentist's waiting room, at the bus stop or on the subway. Through practice, she could turn the pages at a convincing fake-reading pace, and she had mastered that frown women make, that one men cannot possibly realize isn't a frown of concentrated reading when a book is in her hands, but is instead a frown of concentrated plotting on how to make it to junior executive before they turn twenty-five. She learned the memorable moments and quotes from all the strangers who knew the book and just had to talk to her about it, though from all the conversations she'd had about it, she still wasn't sure what the plot was. She'd have to read it some day.

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