So it's a few days before Valentine's Day and I am riding on the L train on the way home, minding my own business (not really, I am eavesdropping as usual....Note to Self: look up origin of "eavesdropping") when I spy a young woman across the aisle from me, sitting down, with a HUGE stuffed animal on her lap. I am talking the size of a St. Bernard puppy.....and she is ostentatiously reading a hardback copy (with torn dust jacket, circa 1971) of Dr. David Reuben's best seller, "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (but were afraid to ask)". Now, she looks at first glance about 12, and I am thinking she swiped this book from her grandmother's library of dusty tomes from the Seventies. But she is wearing eye make-up, and chipped black nail polish. On second glance she looks closer to 30. An unkempt 30, to be sure.
Everyone once in a while she snickers, or grins or laughs out loud. She catches me staring, and flashes a bemused smile. I suddenly think that maybe she is a Brooklyn performance artist, testing out the reaction of numbed subway riders to her whole Gestalt. I mean, her peers are Tweeting and texting and hooking up, and she's reading a hard-back copy of Dr. Reuben? And that stuffed animal essentially takes up three seats, it's on her lap, but it poofs out on both sides of her and practically hides her face.
When I get home, I check out Dr. Reuben on Amazon. The last person who viewed his book also viewed "Contact" by Carl Sagan, about the possibilities of extraterrestrial life....you get the picture. Not the hippest fanbase.
But we probably all owe Dr. Reuben an effusive thank you for writing the right book at the right time....... (Maybe even our very existences....) So. Thank you.
But, really, thank YOU, Stuffed Animal Girl, for adding mystery and humor to my soggy, day-after-the-almost-blizzard-of-2010 subway ride on a late February afternoon. I hope you get an agent.