Thursday, March 07, 2013


I don't mean to peek. But I’m sitting so close to the boy at the café and his open spiral notebook and scrawling script seem to seduce me. He's left handed, and I sit on his right, so his arm doesn't hide the page as he drags his pen across. I strain to decipher his font, the loopy letters blur together. So I am stuck, determined to untangle the text but unable to quickly dip in and pluck out a sentence to add here “________” to have some part of this boy who sits beside me, intense and passionate and pouring himself out. I want to though, to steal something private from this boy’s journal (while I hover over my own, wary of the woman on my other side, with sunglasses on, possibly picking through my page for a sip of something juicy).

The boy finishes a page and swiftly flips the spiral notebook on its back. Immediately his pen starts ambling across the page, and with just one line to study, I do it. I laser into that line… "I’m done with it." YES. I feel guilty and triumphant and thrilled, shoplifting this little detail. He’s 'done with it' I think to myself. WHAT (or who) is he done with, and WHY? It makes me consider slipping on my shades to pickpocket a few more items but there isn’t time, I need more now. He's halfway down the page, and I see where his arm was covering the beginning of the sentence. He actually wrote "I don't think I’m done with it." Huh. NOT done with it. NOT done? I feel mad relief, getting the whole sentence, as if I’d almost been stuck with a counterfeit, a knockoff Prada, But now I know I got the real deal.

What's strange is, I’m not this person, this sly-sneaky-stealer. I’m not one who's tempted to look at a co-worker's calendar or shuffle through a friend's pile of mail while house-sitting. I even feel guilty reading someone's newspaper over their shoulder in line or on an airplane (I mean, they bought it, it's officially theirs). And good God, a journal? Someone's DIARY? That's a whole other thing, the safe-haven of the soul, Sacred Territory. It's something I would... I am about to write, "...never do..." but stop. Because, well, I just did. I pause and check myself for guilt, like tenderly touching a new bruise. But I’m surprised to fine none. And I’m even more surprised that I’m glad.