Juliet, Naked - Nick Hornby

This book is not about nudity.

On the train home today, I noticed a fellow commuter was reading the same book as I.  I smiled to myself and buried my nose back in my copy.  After all … what is the point in saying something, really?  You chat with a stranger about whether or not you are enjoying the book or not, and your commute – which is sometimes only enjoyable because you get to get through many pages of said book – is interrupted.

A few months ago, I spotted a woman carrying a messenger bag from the same New York book store my tote bag was from.  “Nice bag,” I said, and strolled by, pointing at my own.  She looked at me as though I had scurvy, and then I had to up my walking pace to avoid having her think I wanted to engage in actual, you know, conversation. I mean … my iPod was on, people!

I live in a city of eight million plus and I find these shared-yet-anonymous affinities strangely charming, though I really have no desire to vocalize it, and clearly neither do many other folks.  But I know in certain smaller metro areas (New Orleans, for one, definitely), people chat about shared interests and bond over mutual hatred.  The most ordinary trip to the grocery store could yield a new friend over the mirlitons.

I’m not trying to make a big deal out of nothing, but I’m beginning to think we’re all a bit self-absorbed.  I guess once I stop noticing what others are even reading at all is when I need to really worry.

“Don’t talk to strangers,”

Lucy Glib

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