"You're reading a magazine."
Is there a note of accusation in the bagger's voice? I always read magazines in the grocery checkout line. I glance up. Probably not, she looks friendly enough.
"People magazine," she says, and actually points at me.
I feel a moment's irrational panic. I'm in this particular store because it's late in the day and I just happened to be nearby and supper's already late. I am not prepared for some twilight zone protocol that says customers can't scan magazines for Dwight Yoakam album reviews. I stuff it hurriedly back in its slot.
"Your shirt, your shirt," she says, chortling. "I guessed right."
Oh, my shirt. Now I get it. I'm wearing the T-shirt I bought at ALA last summer: Guess What I'm Reading?, it says. No one ever has before, though; that's why I was confused.
We have a nice chat while the clerk rings up my supper items. She's not much of a reader herself, she tells me, though her sister is: "She has as many books as Books-A-Million." And her sister writes, has written wonderful stories since she was six.
My bagger keeps a journal, though. It isn't on-line, it's an actual paper journal, and she writes in it every night.
I leave the store feeling rather pleased with humankind.
Sherman Alexie cancels book tour for memoir about his mother.
Why is Ben Murphy so happy? Because for once in his life, he's on time. He beat Roger Davis, Steve Kanaly and the moderator to the pan...
Last night I read Julian Barnes' The Sense of an Ending . Yes, the night before it went up against Donald Ray Pollock's The Devil Al...
When I finished Kevin Brockmeier's A Brief History of the Dead last spring I immediately did a search to see if the Coca-Cola Corp. had...