She was looking for a book for her son. It was/is called The Eyes of the Sphinx, she said. I imagined her son to be 12 or 13 and the book to the be the latest Lightning Thief sensation, so I was surprised when I Googled the book (since our library didn’t have it) that its subtitle was The Newest Evidence of Extraterrestial Contact in Ancient Egypt. I thought to myself, “How do I break it to the seemingly nice lady that her son is a nut?” But then I thought her son was the one who asked her to find the book, so I told her.
She wasn’t surprised. Her son, it turns out, is 21 and she said he didn’t believe in God, but in the possibility that aliens had created Earth. “It could be, though, right?” She questioned me rhetorically. What else can one do but nod to that?
After that exchange, I already was thinking that she was a prime candidate for a Patron of the Week, but then in the process of conversation, she said something else that cemented her place for this week.
I really don’t know how the conversation, such as it was when you’re checking out books, came around to this, but somehow it did: how being a teenager can be an awkward time in one’s life.
“It can be awkward when you’re 16 and the only person you’re asked out by is a married man.”
It took but all of a moment to dawn on me that she was talking about herself.
“Of course, there’s more to THAT story but I need to get home.”
…and not to mention that a patron was queued up behind her.
I almost wanted to stop her, letting the next patron wait, and say, “Wait, a minute, what’s the rest of the story?” However, naturally that might not have been fair to the next patron, who at least was playing the part of the uninterested, non-eavesdropping party. So I didn’t.
Now, though, I will ask that question of you: What’s the rest of the story? Who was this married man? Did she go out with him? Is he the father of her son? Does she think about this wistfully? Let me know in the comments or write your own blog post — if you feel that inspired or are that hard-up for blog fodder.
- Patron of the Year: Little-Mr.-I-Apologize-By-Using-The-Word-Poop (unfinishedperson.com)