Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"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.


  1. Anonymous11:33 AM

    Nice story. I've always found that random conversations about reading and books are often the best.

  2. What a great thing - books do bring people together despite being a fairly solitary journey.

  3. What a wonderful unexpected exchange.

  4. Funny. I had just pre-ordered Dwight's new CD, out in a couple of weeks: _Dwight Sings Buck_. He has "Close Up the Honky Tonks" on his myspace page, and he is in fine voice. Can't wait for this one.

  5. The video of Close Up the Honky Tonks really calls to mind (for me, at any rate) the one for Suspicious Minds--I think the girl even has the same hair cut!

    The CD's coming out on Dwight's birthday. It's hard to believe he'll be 52.

  6. Nothing wrong with reading People, long as you don't actually buy it, I think.

    I do subscribe to the Fortean Times.

  7. Anonymous7:48 PM

    I think I want a t-shirt that says "Read any good books lately?"

  8. I love those encounters in the grocery line. And I only read the trashy mags in line too, in fact, I often pick the longest queues so I can do so!


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