“Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.
Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.
She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.
Buy her another cup of coffee.
Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.
It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.
She has to give it a shot somehow.
Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.
Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.
Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.
If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.
You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.
You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.
Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.
It seems every time we interact, I find myself looking for some bit of information I’ve missed. Something that warns me, subsides me, or something that gives me a reason to fight. All of which I am equally scared of. So here I am, over-analyzing all these new details…
But you just keep reminding me of why I came to you in the first place.
I wanna grow old, but not with you Don’t wanna grow cold, bitter, and blue Last time you saw me, I broke down The second I left, oh I tasted the ground I can’t believe I actually thought you were real For once in my life, I had something to feel.
This morning you read things written to someone else. Things that weren’t ever meant to be read, or even glanced at. And your only reaction was to read more. You did not freak out or get awkward-you seemed appreciative. Like you felt…trusted…to hold so many of my thoughts in your hands.
You read letters I wrote to him, too. The most honest writing I’ve got. The most vulnerable, too. And you stared straight at it, taking in every word.
I don’t know why I let you read them. I don’t know why you wanted to.
Writing is supposed to be therapeutic. But sometimes it’s not. Sometimes, it makes me wish words didn’t exist. Because no matter how beautiful they can be, no matter how eloquent or endless their potential may seem, they will always fail to express how I feel or what I think. They will fail quite miserably.
Then starts a vicious circle. I write in attempt to clear my head. But instead, I find my head further cluttered with the sentiments my words fail to convey.
So the need to write swells. And swells.
And soon I find myself giving up on words altogether.
I’ve realized this is my fascination with words. I can’t help but hope that someday, some phrase will hold the weight of everything behind it. Some single strand of words will empty just a corner in my mind, making way for new clutter.
Until then, I’ll take comfort in the fact that you already know everything I want to say or write. You already know the things I’m too scared to even try to put into written, tangible, permanent form. And you’ll be there, reading intently, when I finally surrender that fear.
I’ll take a few steps, heavy with morning and the promise of caffeine, into my “office.” A beep will go off, but it’ll be quite different from the one that woke me up. I’ll push a few buttons-a number I know by hand, but doubtfully by heart.
I won’t turn the lights on just yet, I’d rather wait for the moment my eyes are willing. A small walk and I’ll be behind the counter and I’ll flip the desk lamp on; I’ll file away different sized bills and sync the cash registers, repeating a silent prayer that they will show me a fair return at the end of the day. The coffee maker behind me will speak in drips as I take a deep, hazelnut-ridden breath. And I’ll turn on the main lights.
Aisle by aisle, I’ll see my dream unfold before me. And though it will be just a part of my routine by then, I still won’t believe it. A few silent minutes of appreciation, and I’ll turn back to the coffee maker, intent on getting my fix.
Mug in hand, I’ll ascend the stairs. And the above picture is what I will see.
I’ll go through the redundancies of cash registers and lights, double check the necessary displays. But then I’ll go up to the little platform-the one not seen in the picture-and I’ll sit on the stool meant for performers. I won’t have an instrument, no jingle to sing. No jokes to tell. Or even poetry to recite. I’ll have no art to present.
Except for what’s in the picture, the view laid so perfectly before me from my little stool. It’s the only art I have to give-the only show I have to put on. And I’ll share that view with any one showing interest as long as Fate allows. Maybe they’ll get their money’s worth. Maybe they’ll come back. Maybe they’ll provide the means by which I will be able to scrape by and keep presenting my dream.
These are the people I’ll think of as I sit on that stool. These are the people I’ll plan on telling about the newest stock I’ve received, the newest dates added to the calender. And I’ll feel the coffee kick in along with the anticipation of seeing their faces as they discover their newest passion-and fall in love with music all over again.