I enter the train in the nick of time, grateful that I made it and will not have to wait another eight minutes for the next one. (Weekends with the MTA are “fun”.) As i take my seat, I notice that the man sitting right across from me has half a dozen books in his hand. I can see that five of them are the same title. Book club? Professor coming home from Brooklyn College? I realize that I am looking at these shiny new books as if they are some luscious chocolate cake. I want to put one up to my nose and smell that yummy “new book” smell. Then he stands up.
He’s the author. And he’s selling the books. His backpack must be full of them. Taking self-publishing to a whole new level, I think to myself. I grin when he says, “Don’t miss your chance to get this number one subway bestseller, soon to be a number one New York Times bestseller”.
He gives a brief synopsis of the book…first thing he says is that it’s a book “about a man who is addicted to new things”. Ah, yes. Like I am addicted to the idea of having a new book in my hands…yes, I understand the addiction to newness. I am tempted to purchase it…I think he says it’s $10. But he is gone from the car before I can talk myself into it, and before I can stamp the title into my memory…something about a woman. The man who is addicted to newness, he had explained, kept nothing because it couldn’t stay new. “And he lives off the kindness of women, and he lives well.”
Darn it. Now I really want to read that book.
After he leaves, an older Hispanic man in a suit jacket enters the car and urges us to be ready, because Jesus is coming soon. I already know *that* story. Maybe I really should have bought that book.