Friday, December 01, 2006

University Line, chock full of readers

Asian man, mid 40s, wearing a Monterey Bay California blue and beige jacket, brown corduroys, hiking shoes, an old gold watch and a class ring on his wedding finger. He carries a worn blue leather bag with two large outer pockets like airlines used to give out.

The Bancroft Strategy, Robert Ludlum (St. Martins Press). Library loaner.

Page 121:

Andrea Bancroft felt dizzy, intoxicated, and it was not because of the wine. How many people had a chance to make a difference like that, she wondered. She had been given the ability to snap a finger--and transform the lives of thousands. It felt...almost godlike.

He'd bought the bag off the sidewalk. Stuck at the lights, waiting to cross, the display of used VHS, costume jewellry and purses had embarrassed him. No, he wasn't interested, thank you. But the light was long, the illuminated walking man planted firmly. Yes, he was certain, thank you, no. Had he seen the original paintings? In time for the holidays? A nice gift for his mother, perhaps? Fine, the bag, he'd said. That one there, with the large pockets. Great, now you can carry some kitchen knives. No, just the bag. He pooled the change from his pocket. Not $5, how about $3? I only have $3. Dammit, my light. He'd gathered the strap and clutched the bag, jogging it to the other side against the advance green of oncoming traffic.

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