Every day possible I go to the library to read for an hour, a favorite pastime of mine. Where else can you find guaranteed peace and absolutely no cell phone use. One feels as if they’re stepping back in time and it’s glorious to say the least.
The reading room is filled with cushy chairs along with an ample sofa comfortably seating two, though on occasion when attendance is high, a third party squeezes in. It’s my favorite spot, and lately I’ve been joined by a new gentleman. New meaning, he must have just joined since I can’t remember seeing him before (there’s a modest fee to belong to this particular library).
He’s not a handsome man by any means…short, stubby with receding hair, but I find myself curious about him because he’s always there on one side of the sofa. Immaculately dressed in a suit with shimmering Gucci loafers, I notice along with a gold Tiffany watch he also wears a wedding band.
He looks as if he works at something, but makes his own hours and prefers reading Greek philosophy to fiction or non.
The writer in me wonders about that lone ring on his finger because he doesn’t give off the scent of marriage? It’s not that he flirts or even modestly engages, but his solitude seems three ply implying the big L…loneliness.
My imagination is now off to the races.
Is she sick, did she die…has she left him for another man? Someone richer, taller? Why is he reading Plato and Socrates while I’m here inhaling The Little Prince. Would have made a great photo actually.
But what really tipped me off to some deep-rooted emotion was when he came in with Aeschylus, the Greek poet and dramatist, beneath his well-heeled arm.
This is when knowing your history comes in handy,
Aeschylus, pronounced ees-kuh-luhs, was what Bobby Kennedy read after his brother died. For those of you who don’t know, Bobby always blamed himself for JFK’s death believing it was because of his pursuit of organized crime that made Jack a target. Jackie, his grieving sister-in-law, gave him Aeschylus to read hoping he’d find comfort and solace.
Being a RFK fan, I read some and let me tell you, it’s elegy to the fullest. All you need are bagpipes mewling TAPS in the background.
Even in our sleep pain which cannot forget,
falls drop by drop upon the heart – until in our own despair
against our will comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.
This compact little man with the shiny shoes is grieving…maybe it’s for a parent or a child, God forbid…but he’s in maximum pain to be sure.
Where am I going with all this?
Back to the library to observe and ponder more.
He’d make a helluva character in that novel I’m going to one day write.