All my friend, Shelley had to do was ask, “What’s your favorite read?” That did me in. I didn’t mean to take the turn to the Library. I didn’t know today was the library’s book sale. Succulent, luscious, seducing books calling to me, “Just a quarter. Isn’t there room on your recently cleared, EMPTY shelves for me at just a quarter?” Mesmerized, I was drawn in to the door. The book pheromones began uninvited transmission.
He was pleasant enough – at first I thought his tastes just ran along the same lines as mine. Until I turned around and caught him in the act – sniffing the back of my neck. Some might say he was attracted to the smell of the pain patch there to assuage the many bins of art supplies and books I’ve been hefting in my studio move. But his red face told a different story. He was drawn to the scent of a book loving woman. I held up Mary Gordon’s memoir, CIRCLING MY MOTHER, with my left hand. Where those shiny double bands should say to him, “Stop sniffing my book-loving neck, all my books are spoken for by the man at home.” But no, he followed me to the naturalist’s area where I seized upon Hummingbirds: My Winter Guests, a gift intended for my dying friend in Nevada, who loves hummingbirds. I slipped away and he caught up with me at Vivian Swift’s WHEN WANDERERS CEASE TO ROAM – A Traveler’s Journal of Staying Put. Really? Really? Side step to side step this is how it’s going to be?
I had to call it a day at Julia Cameron’s THE ARTIST’S WAY AT WORK – Riding The Dragon. He took note of the promise of Twelve Weeks to Creative Freedom and looked like he might invite himself along for the journey. “No dragon riding for you, buster. I’m checking out of this book sale and saving my book pheromones for the man at home who loves that I read.”
It was Julie Andrews’ COLLECTION OF POEMS, SONGS AND LULLABILES that snuffed out the pheromones and lost him to my trail. Who can explain the what of that? Was it my disappointment that the “exclusive CD with poems read aloud by Julie” herself was missing? Maybe it was the lullabies that threw him off. Never mind. I left him behind, in the Political Science section, soaring with the words of Victor Hugo in my Own Voice:
Be like the bird, who
Resting in his flight
On a twig too slight
Feels it give way beneath him,
Knowing he has wings.