Thursday, September 16, 2010

"there's three types of people in the world: those who don't know what happened, those who wonder what happened...

...and people like us from the streets that MAKE things happen!"

when i go to the library with the purpose of checking out books, i read the first pages to see if i want to give it a go. the defeat felt after borrowing a few books and returning a couple unread three weeks later takes a bit of a toll on me. there's always the option of renewing them, but that's just an extension on an already unmet deadline. i'm not the fastest reader. the way a simple sentence is written can cause my mind to wander, so i'm constantly having to re-read. with that said, a stack of five books at the checkout represents wishful thinking. on the way home, as that same stack of books moves around on the passenger seat, it's saying to me, "c'mon, eric, smaller bites, buddy. you can't chew all that," but i remain hopeful that one of the books has lots of dialogue and the end of each chapter has only 3-4 lines on the page.

i took a seat in what looked like a soft, cushy chair and opened a book (the chair was neither that soft nor that cushy, but squeaked and stuck to the skin). as i finished page two, i was interrupted by an audible conversation directly behind me, which i have a terrible time ignoring. a conversation in a quiet area where there are no other sounds to blend with. the two didn't speak like traditional friends, but spoke like they knew each other. everything they said was to the point - nothing more or less. the way they spoke hinted at experience with anime, equal experience with fantasy literature dealing with dragons, and at the drop of a hat, the readiness to convince you how advanced medieval society really was. i don't know how to properly explain it, but there's a definite tone that lets me know when i'm dealing with this type of person.

i found out they had just met when one of them asked the other what school they attend. if they went to the same, she was going to recommend checking the school's library for the book the other was looking for. they don't attend the same school, and no there was no "thank you" for the useless tip. after hearing this, i wondered if their high schools were rivals. it wouldn't have mattered. they didn't seem like the type to pay any mind to stuff like that.

"have you read this series?" asked one of them.
"yes, i've read them all, but it's been such a long time. i'm thinking about revisiting them," answered the other arrogantly with a slight snicker, which is kind of how she was saying everything. i don't think she meant anything by it.

i turned around to take a look at them. unbeknownst to me, i was seated in the graphic novel section. the wall was lined with series after series of graphic novels illustrated with anime-style art. everything made sense again and i thought about how the graphic novel section is probably the only place in the library where verbal conversation can go from 0 to 60 in such a short time. usually there's a bit of rust in the voice after being quiet while walking around the library, but not with these folks. the passion they have for the graphic novel makes it impossible to keep quiet, which gives instant strength to their voices. it's somewhat of a polarizing genre. you either really love and know about it, or you just don't and don't. anybody can love a good film adaptation of a graphic novel, but to be in it all the way, i mean really live and breathe that stuff, is a whole different story.

i checked out the book and walked out of the library happy. i'm not sure i even wanted the book, but their conversation made me forget i was even debating it. i think i was happy because of all the different people this world has. all the different niches and different kinds of cool. then i was kind of sad, because i will never be able to connect or fully participate with a lot of them, because there's just not enough time to give all the graphic novels the attention they deserve.

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