Hey I got this book for you, and you really started to like it. Italo Calvino’s If on a winter’s night a traveller. But then, on the G train or M train to wherever Brooklyn from the Bronx to get a ride back to Boston, you were reading it and your phone slipped out of your pocket because you were leaning funny. It hit the floor and made that sound that smartphones make when they hit a hard surface. Not too hard, it was the subway remember, the floor has that slightly soft topcoat. But whatever, you didn’t pick it up. You let it sit. You’re so trusting it makes me sick. And then, shazam, that nice pretty smart girl picked it up. She picked it up for you. She said “Here you go” which suggested that she knew you knew you had dropped it. It wasn’t a “You dropped your phone!” The type of remark that actually suggests “You better pick it up before I do!” She knew. She said “Here you go,” suggesting “I know you’ll come around to it eventually, but IDK, IDK, something compels me to assist you now.”
Then you fell in love again. You thought: “How can I express my love for this individual who is 4-6 notches more ‘yes’ than I am without coming across as the enemy?” The interaction made you like AND love her. You thought maybe she could be an extremely manipulative aging high class prostitute who goes around on the trains preying upon young gentlemen by performing random acts of kindness and then making missed connections on craigslist. No. That’s an extremely large amount of work for a tired prostitute. No offense to prostitutes, I’d be tired too. No. She’s something else. Maybe just a good person. That’s seems unlikely. Gold and Warm, Warm and Gold? These things do not exist, you know. You scrambled. You knew pretty quick that you had to give her the book. Moments earlier you had taken out the receipt that the cashier slid into it. Italo Calvino’s If on a winter’s night a traveller.
You didn’t like it there because it kind of looked like a book mark, and in the middle of the book was false advertising. But before you gave it away you thought you’d slip it back in, because it would have your name on it. Information necessary for the woman to get in touch with you if she wanted, not that that would happen, JIC. Maybe just to say thank you. But you couldn’t find it. And although this stressed you out at first, because you weren’t in total control of the thing you were about to do, you accepted it. In fact, it was probably better this way. It’s more adult to do something without the expectation of getting anything in return. That’s when you realized that the two of you were adults. And when she got up to go wherever, you too got up. You handed her the book and said “You should have this book.” Then she said “thank you.” IRL.