I did the dumbest thing today. Really dumb. Borderline idiotic. And what was so idiotic, you ask? I opened my mouth.
Now before you get your hopes up, NO, I did not open my mouth to actually talk to him, but I opened my mouth to talk about him and I think I made a fool of myself.
So The Reader has come into the store at least twice this week. He came in on Monday and *gasp* he actually bought a book! That's right! The Reader of Books became The Buyer of Books (or of One Book, at least). It's actually a funny story - I was just getting off of work and I had to buy a book for my ward's Book Club (it was the very next night and I was hosting it at my house and felt that, being the hostess, I should at least attempt to read some of the book we were going to be discussing!). So, I am standing in line and there is another customer behind me. Who walks up behind the other customer? The Reader! So he's standing there and I'm standing there. I pay for my book and put my stuff in my over-sized new Anthro purse and start to head outside into the frigid cold. Who walks out not five steps behind me? The Reader! So there we are, walking out of the store at practically the same time (there might have been some orchestrating on my part to time our exits...but then again maybe not). I had further to walk to my car, but he gets in his jacked-up Jeep Grand Cherokee (I'm going to forgive him the fact that it's raised by the mere fact that it's a Jeep) and he drives away. Sigh. Anyways, that was Monday.
I worked a later shift today and this evening as I am going upstairs to help a customer, I look across the store and see The Reader over in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section, looking at books. I just kind of smiled because, Hey! The Reader was back to read! Shocker! Anyways, I did make a sweep of the upstairs tables and chairs and couches to pick up left-behind books and magazines and of course I just happened to walk past him, but whatever. As I was walking to the down escalator I realized that he was walking behind me....headed to the restroom. Anyways, just as I was about to go downstairs, I suddenly had the urge to tell someone about The Reader. Just to tell them that there was this attractive young guy that comes in almost everyday to sit and read and that he was back in the store to read more books. I just wanted to actually tell someone about this mini-obsession I have with finding out this guy's story. And the fact that he was really attractive. And that he reads the books and doesn't buy them. I just had to TELL someone and say it out loud because it was driving me crazy!
The first person I see is Mary. Mary is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet - she is an older woman who works in the Children's department and is so nice and so cute. I knew if I told her about The Reader she would laugh about it with me. So what do I do? I OPENED MY MOUTH. And the stupidity begins...
(Actual conversation may have varied - I took some artistic liberties since it is my embarrassing story)
"So, Mary, I have to tell someone - there is this guy that comes into the store almost everyday to read - just read, not buy - and he's back and he's sitting over by the Gardening section. And he comes in everyday!"
Mary nods her head in agreement. "Yeah, there are so many people that do that. Is he older or younger?"
"Oh, he's probably my age."
"Is he cute?"
"Oh yeah! He's very cute. But he just reads! He never buys the books! Oh, and there he is right there coming out the restroom."
Mary turns her head to look at him and he just happens to be walking RIGHT IN OUR DIRECTION. I do my best to look nonchalant as we continue our conversation.
"Yeah, it just frustrating, though, when all they do is sit and read."
"Yes, well that is the environment Barnes & Noble chose to have - people come in and read and don't buy the books. But what can you do?"
At this point, The Reader has walked past us and I think that he has gone around the corner, WAY, WAY, WAY out of earshot.
"So, anyways, this guy, he comes in all the time, and actually I started writing about him in my blog...."
"Yes! Just as something fun, because he comes in all the time."
Mary kind of gives me this suggestive look.
"But I am not a stalker! I promise! I'm not a stalker, he's just here everyday and it's fun..."
Something makes me turn my head around and what do I see? THE READER IS STANDING NOT FIVE FEET AWAY FROM ME. He is at one of those customer kiosks looking up a book. I just about smacked myself on the forehead, but instead I turned around to face Mary again.
"And he's standing right there. Perfect. So, yeah, it's fun. Oh, look! The phone's ringing!"
And with that, I got onto the escalator and answered the phone to help a customer find a book.
I WANTED TO DIE!!!!! I don't know how loud I was talking or what or how much he heard or if he even was paying attention to us or if he had walked by us on purpose or I don't know or ten thousand other things or all I knew is that I wanted the flee to the break room and not leave until after the store closed and every single last customer, including The Reader, had left for the night. For the a good hour I avoided going upstairs. I didn't want to see him or for him to see me. I felt so stupid for actually talking about it out loud that I was kicking myself the rest of the night.
A couple hours later I was helping a customer find a book that was in the New Age section, which is in the same area as he was sitting. I keep my back turned to him as I help the lady find the book (something about what your birth date says about who and what you are...) and as I am walking away from her, I see that he has gotten up from the couch and is now walking in front of me. He heads to restroom (this guy goes to the bathroom a lot...) and I head for the down escalator. A couple minutes later he comes downstairs and walks out the door. I did notice however, that he was kind of looking around as he was heading to the door. All in my head? Most likely...
Anyways. That was my utterly embarrassing story. It might not seem like that big of a deal, but it still makes me feel like an idiot. I should have just kept my mouth shut. Why did I have to tell someone about him? Now it's out there and I can't take it back. A part of me doesn't care a bit what he might think of me because, Hey! I'm moving to Austin in a week and a half and I will never ever see him again! But the other part of me is still embarrassed that I acted like a stupid school girl, telling her friend about her secret crush. I should know well enough by now that the moment you verbalize things like that, that's when you start making a fool of yourself. I have done it so many times - and usually directly to the guy - and it always blows up in my face. Without fail. I should know to keep these things to myself (and to the semi-anonymous world of blogging).
I think I can safely say with 100% assurance that I will definitely NOT be talking face-to-face with The Reader to find out neither a) his name nor b) his story. Sorry, folks, I just can't do it. I was not made for that kind of boldness and putting-yourself-out-there-ness and throwing-caution-to-the-wind-and-doing-whatever-whim-strikes-your-fancy-ness. I think it's better if he continues to exist solely in fiction...
(I feel that I need to clarify, once again, that I AM NOT A STALKER. Really, I'm not. I am just highly observant and, yes, a little obsessive. But, I am not doing anything wrong here. I am simply going to work everyday and doing my job and, yes, blogging about a random guy that I don't even know. But, seriously, does anyone find anything disturbing or weird about this? Because if there is a general consensus that I am slightly unhinged, then I will put a stop to all of this at once. Promise. Well...maybe not all at once. I would have to learn to let go of my highly active romantic imagination (HARI) little by little and it could probably take weeks, or even months. Or maybe even years! How do you cure HARI? Books and movies and TV shows and even music seem to only make it worse. I know what the simple solution is (The E.C.) but since when is anything in my life ever simple? Until I come up with an agreeable remedy for my current condition (suggestions welcome) I suppose I will have to continue in the way I have been going. Sigh...)