Thursday, February 22, 2007

Spadina Station, the line snaking over the tiles.

Asian woman, late 20s, with long dark hair and black rimmed glasses wearing a wool coat with red scarf and red fingerless mittens. Her oversized bag holds a tupperware container of rice and a margarine tub with a strip of masking tape across the top marking it as personal property.

Lullabies for Little Criminals, Heather O'Neill (HarperCollins Canada)

Page 91:

He was always squeezing a pillow against his chest. I came home to find him lying on the bed with no shirt on and the pillow on his chest. He reminded me of a doll whose stuffing was coming out.

I adjusted the fan so that it faced him. It had been blasting full against the wall, likely turned when he struggled back into bed, his one leg still off the edge, his head turned away as far as it could go to make up for rest. His headphones had slipped up to his temples, the foam ear pads propping up his bushy white eyebrows, floppy like bunnies. I pulled them away from his head like I was defusing a bomb, sleep didn't come easily for him anymore, but then placed a hand on his sunken belly, searching for breath. He woke suddenly, unable to reach for the blanket, grabbing a pillow and holding it to his chest.

"How did you get in?" he yelled, his foggy eyes searching the room for an outline. "I have nothing!"

I called his name and tried to hold his hand. It was okay; I was allowed to be here. It was time to go to the bathroom. I would change the sheets.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hiya Julie. I'm a student from that Writer's Craft class you came to speak with that day. Well, today our class went on a trip and we had to do some "seenreading" ourselves. Before doing the activity, I thought it was going to be a piece of cake but it was actually harder than I thought. I found it difficult to see the cover of the book people were reading because they had it down low so I couldn't get some titles. Also, it was difficult for me to be discreet:) I'm just too obvious of a person. So now that I know the stuggles you have to face each day to bring us a little piece of delight to read daily, I can appreciate your blog even more:D Kudos to you.

Julie Wilson said...

I appreciate the kudos! Thanks. :)

It's a bit of a performance, you know. I have to get into character: The Last Person You'd Suspect. It's funny, because I think that I'm actually quite obvious, not lurking so much as giving off a genuine curiosity. Not having my pad and pen out anymore also frees me up a lot. And when you wear headphones you can get away with talking to yourself and no one will give you a second glance. So, tossing a passing glance at people while they're reading -- keeping in mind their head is down and they don't even know you're there -- gives you more confidence to chase the goal!

I'm so proud of you guys for taking the challenge! Hope you had fun!!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I would agree with not having a pad and pen. Hovering over someone's shoulder doesn't help so much either:) I sure did have fun with it, thanks.

shannon said...

Oh, this is one of the books in the Canada Reads thing! A friend of mine is reading all of them, and she's half-way through this one. It sounds interesting.

Julie Wilson said...

There continues to be debate over whether or not consumers buy books for the cover or, if a choice between one book or another, the cover decides it. 'cause, I have to say, when I see this cover, every single time, I stop and wonder, Whuzzat? Every time. I felt the same way about Alligator by Lisa Moore and Gargoyles by Bill Gaston. Covers that seem as if they're providing you with a strong entry point but you couldn't possibly know what it is. Kind of fun!

Oh, and on a more literary note, I'm also curious to READ Lullabies for Little Criminals. What a great title. Ha! Please also apply the aforementioned argument to a successful title as a determining factor in the sale of a book.