Monday, August 30, 2010

August 29th, 2010


Today at the thrift store, a place where twentysomethings like to gather, the teenage clerk excitedly asked me what I was reading, as I placed my book and on the counter, to pull out some cash to pay for the t-shirt I found. Wow, he really wants to know! I thought to myself. e.e. cummings, I said, poems. Oh, he said, a little bit of his enthusiasm waning, I don't like it when I have to read poetry, he said, as he scanned the tag of my three dollar t-shirt. I have to read them over and over, at least five times, and then I barely understand them!, I said, a little too quickly, perhaps. All desire on his part to talk about e.e. cummings had evaporated, but I felt I needed to keep this conversation going. Despite my efforts, our conversation stalled anyway, and I quickly tried to think of something to say. He kept it a float with: Yeah, but it's worth it, to keep at it, even though you don't understand them, he said to me as he give me my change, as if he were a professor of literature, and he shared that bit of advice to a life time of students. Sage words from a teenager, I thought to myself as I collected my things, and said goodbye.

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