Friday, March 26, 2010

Thug Love

I'm sitting in the Albuquerque Main Library, directly across from a man who is reading, then sniffling as though crying, then kissing the pages of his book fervently. I guessed immediately that it wasn't a Where's Waldo collection. Its black covers, tiny text, and abundance of hair's-breadth pages told me it was the Bible.

I only realized this as I sat down, and now it's a bit awkward because I want to stare, to try to understand, but there is something sacred happening here, something that I would diminish to mere spectacle by witnessing.

He is a young man, maybe about my age, hispanic with the tattoos to prove he's had a hard life. I noticed one on his face, and his arms and neck contain the kind of writing endemic to gang life.

When I hear him sniffle, it's a sign he is about to dip his head into the filo-dough pages of his Biblia and kiss what I imagine to be every mention of his Lord's name. I take these opportunities to glimpse him again. Watching is only watching if he sees it happening, and I can't turn away from this passion. It's the stuff usually reserved for lovers resisting the inevitable break-up.

He doesn't look physically strong. This isn't one of the gangsters you see parading around the prison yard in crime movies, intimidating our lithe protagonist, who's only there undercover, anyway. He might be the protagonist. Only he's not undercover, and heroes don't have tattoos like this. He wants to be a hero, though. Villains don't tearfully kiss the Lord's name in public libraries.

Our hero just left. He sniffled one final time, deeply, in the manner of a recovery, zipped up something - a bag or a sweater maybe, and walked into the stacks, possibly to return the Holy Book to the piles of other things he does not own.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

(sugar)Crystal Ball

The other day I came back to my desk after a brief turn in the garden (read: sitting on a tree stump in the parking lot) to find a curious little trinket just in front of the keyboard. It was a plain little fortune cookie, still in its plastic wrapper.  No note, no clues, no likely suspects.

My colleague/uber-boss who generally shares a cube with me was not in town that week, and the only other person who even might possibly leave me such a gift had dined much earlier in the day, and had not gone out for any sort of Asian cuisine. Nobody else leaves me treats. I just don't reach out to people that much.

Tragically for the fortune cookie, I lean much more heavily toward gluttony than toward mystery. Untroubled by the thing's origin, I was sure it contained sweetness, and thus made with the nom-nom post-haste. No, I wasn't troubled at all. Until, that is, I read my fortune.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

My Old Bedroom

Maybe I was just staring at my blog, thinking about writing something for it. Maybe I was doing this just now, and maybe I realized that the green and white theme is very similar to what I painted my old bedroom in my parent's house after moving back home after getting my bachelor's. Green walls, white trim.

Some people claim that green is a color of illness. The M&M/Mars Corporation contests that it is the color of passion. I generally prefer M&Ms to "some people," anyway. More dependably pleasing on the tongue, for starters.