Friday, December 22, 2006

Bloor Line, packed three to a door

Caucasian woman, late 30s, short, spikey blonde hair, wearing baggy jeans, brown sneakers, and a grey hoodie under a second hand orange, blue and yellow ski vest. Wearing a thick silver band on her wedding ring.

We Need to Talk About Kevin, Lionel Shriver (Harper Perennial)

Like most people who did not answer a particular calling from an early age, you placed work beside yourself; any occupation would fill up your day but not your heart. I liked that about you. I liked it enormously.
She looks forward to the morning commute. She'll ride to the end of the line and take two buses to the warehouse where she'll take her place on the line next to Deb, a lifer married to Brad, always on the road, and Marlene, a late 40s pre-op, her hair in a net not for code but because in the winter her hair goes frizzy.

The boxes make their way toward them, the first row complete. She readies her stock and fans them into place, a pack each. Peek Freans: Lemon Thins, Digestives, Arrow Root, Fruit Creme Tropical, Nice, Shortcake. And two packs of Dad's Oatmeal and Oreo cookies. She notices one of the Dad's Oatmeal has a tear in the wrapper. She waits until the boxes move down the line and rips the plastic open, popping the cookie in whole. It's crunchy and dry, she puts her head down to chew in effort. Cheeks full, crumbs dotting the corners of her mouth, she looks up at Marlene and sticks out her tongue. They laugh.

7 comments:

shannon said...

Your stories are so visual, yet under-stated. I love this one, I was right next to Marlene, laughing.

I really enjoy your writing style, you never slip into cliche though it would be so easy to do with these. You always give me an unexpected, but delightful, treat. There's such warmth in the stories, even the ones that seem sad, and you have managed to capture the lives of all sorts of people, from different backgrounds, income level, race...

It's like the everyday people, or the city, or the books they read (!), are your muse. Toronto is a big city, full of people too busy or preoccupied or suspicious to even notice anyone else.

But Seen Reading makes me appreciate its eclecticness, and if I may be forgiven for indulging in your inspired stories, I feel more like I belong here.

Julie Wilson said...

That is so kind, Shannon. Thank you.

I'm in Sudbury right now, and while visiting a Chapter's I engaged a bookseller who was quite intrigued about this venture. She's been in the industy for 15 years and talks to people day in and day out about their tastes, etc. Of course, over the years, her tastes have evolved into an eclectic range of interests. I suggested that she'd like the storytelling that comes from what happens once her customers leave the store. Gosh, I really do love doing this! And I'm incredibly luck to have readers such as yourself!

Anonymous said...

I love this one!

ZitaKatalin said...

... another awesome entry.

Lately I've not had a book with me on the subway, as I do not have any more to read. I've read all my books!! *gasp*

Not to worry. I ordered a bunch more from eBay and they should all be here soon.

Till then, I am and will be reading Metro, 24hrs, eye and NOW ... which made me wonder about you noticing people with magazines.

There are some really good ones out there (Interview, Details, Mother Jones) ... if you did, would you write about them, or the magazine, or will you stick to books? Just curious.

I truly enjoy reading your stuff. Will you some day put these together into a book?

(Just curious #2)

Take care Julie, enjoy the holidays. I will keep coming back!

Love,

Zita

Julie Wilson said...

Thanks Anon!

Zita, I have thought about magazines, but it's much harder to see what people are reading because we tend to bend those suckers back at the spine!

eastender said...

I can't believe Zita can't read a book because she has read all she owns. Zita, go to the library!

I know I am being vain, but it really bugs me that I have never been 'seen reading'.

Julie Wilson said...

Read a REALLY BIG book! ;)