Love and Old Books...Part 1

Love and Old Books…Part 1

It’s the computer age right? E-mails and Facebook, Twitter and e-books. I guess I’m as techy as most average people but for me.

For me there’s nothing like a good book.

Even the smells, actually especially the smells. There’s nothing as brain tickling as the smell of books, especially old books. Not like old aged books but like the smell you get when you walk into an old bookstore.

Plus there’s a comfort in books for me. I guess like most people that don’t fit into the cookie cutter ideas held by people of who people should be and how they should be. I didn’t fit. I still don’t but I’m older enough to care a lot less about that now.

I’m not normal, well I’m not abnormal really just…I was raised in a home that was sort of on the poor side. Not destitute but wood heat, gravity fed water for our house from a spring up on the back hill…no, no water pump no well. We heated our water on the wood stove most of the time and bath time took awhile since we filled these really big pots and used the propane stove.

We had a house, no basement just a frost wall the place sat on and that was just about the only factor keeping us from falling into the category of trailer trash.

That and three miles from actually being in town we were country poor.

That impacts you as a kid when you go to school with a whole lot of the haves and you’re one of the few have nots.

So…enough about that stuff.

I was talking about me and books.

Books took me out of myself, away to other places and they showed me things. A lot of good things and my outlook too I guess. Fantasy books, Science Fiction and even some fiction and non-fiction all showed me a better world than the one we live in.

Took this lonely person and made a romantic dreamer out of them.

And contrary in my opinion to the Emo people and the Gothlings out there being either or even both isn’t a bad thing. I like being that kind of person. I like being a nice guy. And yes I’ve experienced the whole nice guys finish last thing.

A lot.

Been emotionally stepped on a few times.

Been friend zoned.

(Big Frown.)

Okay…I get it I didn’t float your boat, there wasn’t enough there to make your heart race. But you put me in the Friend zone…Well I actually ask them. “Are you sure?”

Yeah….

See, I have about five good friends only one is an ex girlfriend. She if we’re friends and you’re being an ass or some other thing…. I’m your friend, I’ll tell you. I don’t like your new BF I’ll tell you.

Most ex’s that want to still be friends can’t handle the truth.

Oops.

Well…..actually not so much.

The only reason Morgan and I are still friends is we broke up as tweens when she moved to Ontario to live with her mom for awhile. We dated when she moved back but it really never took and for some reason she was just twisted enough that she liked the fact I don’t bullshit my friends.

Morgan’s hot, her dad’s Korean and his family owned this multi business place…a motel but in the front there was a Chinese food place. Yes Chinese because back then if you tried to open anything else Asian people just never bothered to even try to like it.

Well they had that and the dry cleaning place and her dad. “Ricky” because he sort of looked like Ricky The Dragon Steamboat…old wrestler. Well he was this little Korean horn dog and ended up with Susan. A hot blonde waitress he had hired. They divorced but they had Morgan first. So when I say hot think five six, with Asian hair inn this nice brown shade and enough of her mom in her to give her great hips and butt and a set of C-cups at like a pretty early age.

She left because of her grandmother. “Ricky’s” Mom didn’t approve of the mongrel devil child. She moved back when she got preggers and stuff.

Anyway, she’s plenty hot enough that a lot of guys just turn on the bullshit factor to get in her pants.

Me…not so much.

It’s not that I’m blunt or rude and yes I’m straight and like girls just fine it’s just. I’ve gotten to the point where I just try. I want to date someone I’ll ask them. Yeah I usually get told no, or something but sometimes I’ll get a yes.

Morgan being my friend sort of taught me that some girls like that lack of bullshit, and that life’s to short not to try.

God and y’know sometimes I really just love to try.

Yes I know, I ramble.

And I think too much.

And I’m a hopeless romantic.

And a head in the clouds dreamer.

And I’m back home after about fifteen years of being away ad have just moved into my house…pre-fab one floor and within my means but not remotely paid for…but comfortable payments…Like I said I’m home and kind of a stranger at this point. Things have really changed, the city…barely…the city seems smaller.

Well comparing Bellton to some of the places I’ve lived it is small.

Small’s good.

But I’m driving out where my old house was back in the old days and it’s all changed, we didn’t have streets back then…just the road. Now it’s all sub divisions and nice homes and I can’t help but shake my head. There were farms out here. I should know I lived on one of them.

I stop for a drink or I was going to stop for a pop or something that was at one point I think the local convenience store but isn’t now.

It’s a used bookstore.

I get out and head inside and you can see the changes, whoever ran the place loves books there’s these handmade wooden shelves everywhere all stained and even some old cabinets too and like a bookstore the place is labeled off in sections.

“Valentine books.” I say to myself after seeing the sign out front. “Huh…okay that really fits.”

It fits because as I look through the sections some of the books have valentines day cards in them right in behind the front cover. I look at them and they say. “Why I loved this book.” Then there’s this little blurb by someone likely a former owner but most of them are written by Val…

“Cute…nice play on words.”

I her cards she will sometimes blurb but she’ll also write page numbers and paragraphs. Her favorite parts…I’m smiling and laughing at some of the things she’s show me.

And honestly the stuff it shows me…all this stuff…she’s really well read, funny, quirky, artistic. I’m collecting an armful of books that honestly I never intended to get and I find myself hoping she’s here.

I make my way to the counter and I’m kind of struck by her.

God it has to be her.

She’s wearing a tee-shirt and her arms are pulled into her sleeves except for her wrists and hands and she’s reading Jurassic Park.

With T-Rex hands.

She’s a shoulder length haired brunette with some red highlights and glasses sort of my age so mid-thirties I’d say. Cute, cute in this bookish nerd girl kind of way I remember from some of the quiet girls I went to school with. Small breasts…just really cute. There’s something else too about her…

Oh…okay I see it now.

She looks up and blinks at me. Then she seems to remember the way she’s reading the book and slides her arms sheepishly out of her shirt.

She blushes and does this sort of face palm with the open book. “Sorry, god that was embarrassing.”

I laugh. “Actually it was pretty cool, you have to be Val.”

She smiles a little really shyly. “Yes, I guess I sort of stand out.” she has a nice voice, soft and quiet but there’s some warmth there. I can hear some of the other there but y’know it doesn’t detract from her. Actually it’s sort of giving this kind of cute quirky girl this Saturday night radio girl D.J. voice…and cadences and inflections, she doesn’t talk like a guy.

“Hey, standing out’s actually cool by me.”

She smiles. “Thanks, it’s always good to hear actually.”

I smile back. It’s actually kind of automatic too. It’s the smile a guy gets when a nice pretty girl will actually talk to him when he’s not one of those perfect guys. Actually I’m a big guy…kinda hairy…not really bad, a modest beer gut to be honest and really aside from school and manual labor I’ve rarely hit a gym for regular exercise…I’d love too but life’s life and stuff.

Needless to say whatever some people might call her Val’s a pretty girl…okay, that’s my opinion…smiles at me and is actually kind and nice it actually makes my day.

I pay for my books putting them on my Visa and she bags them for me and not knowing what to say I head out.

I do stop at the door. “I think I’m going to enjoy reading these thanks….”

“Sure and Ryan?”

She knows my name? Wait…duh, my credit card. “Uhm…yeah?”

“It’s Valerie.”

“Oh…. cool.”

She smiles and me again and sits back down with her book and pulls her arms into her sleeves waving at me with those little T-Rex arms.

I head out after waving too and get in my car with this really huge smile on my face.

It’s kinda been awhile.



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