I hate the
way you talk to me,
and the way you cut your hair.
I hate the way you drive my car.
I hate it when you stare.
I hate your big dumb combat boots,
and the way you read my mind.
I hate you so much it makes me sick;
it even makes me rhyme. I hate it,
I hate the way you’re always right,
I hate it when you lie.
I hate it when you make me laugh,
even worse when you make me cry.
I hate it when you’re not around,
and the fact that you didn’t call.
But mostly I hate the way
I don’t hate you.
not even close,
not even a little
bit, not even
at all.

Today I performed an experiment

Searched for normal NSFW pictures on tumblr … nudes, penis, vagina, breasts, etc … all come up “without results,” BUT when I search pictures of self harm, i.e. cutting, results are still abundant. I feel that something is not right here. What did yahoo do? Make it stop! Tumblr’s office is only a few blocks away and I think I need to go give them a piece of my mind. Looking at pictures of porn is healthier than looking at triggering images of self harm.

Today I sat down in the crowded subway next to a girl reading a book. I could literally feel her encapsulation with the book. She was hunched over as close as she could get to the pages with her hands on the corners ready to turn the page and keep on with her adventure.

First I noticed that she was reading the Hunger Games. I remembered my own experience flying through the books and not being able to put them down besides to bathe, and even then it was a hard decision to make. I felt for her as her heart was probably being ripped out then put back together and as she felt herself bond with each character and feel the plethora of emotions that they were all going through.

Then I noticed that she was almost done with the book. I immediately went back to the feelings I have had finishing books in public spaces. I knew that she felt like the world should be stopping, just freezing in that moment so that all of her focus was in the book, or stopping completely so the book never had to end. How could life go on when her characters’ stories were coming to a close? How could people just carry on with their lives with all of the emotion that she was feeling? It’s impossible to imagine life without that book and you do not want it to end. What is going to happen when the book is over? I felt for this girl I was sitting next to. I wanted to tell her that I understood how hard it was, how loud she was screaming inside. But, I did not want to interrupt her reading. I was literally experiencing the end of the book with her and had to restrain myself from reading over her should several times. 

Despite the horrible norm of no one speaking to each other on the subway, I couldn’t contain myself once I saw her close the book. I wanted to know what she thought, how she felt, and anything else on her mind. Instead I settled for a quiet “Did you love it?” She seemed shocked that anyone was speaking to her, let alone noticing what she had just finished reading. She had been in her literary bubble and had tuned out the rest of the world. She figured that if she didn’t notice the rest of the packed subway car, there’s no way that they noticed her. 

Her response was quiet at first, probably because she thought I was some weirdo trying to hit on her. But, after realizing my good intentions she started talking more about the book. It made her sad. It was so good. She then sits there for about a minute, reflecting and waiting for her stop, and then digs into her bag, taking out the final book of the series. I gave her a smile and could just see how excited she was. She said she felt like she was betraying her friend since they were supposed to start it together but it was obvious that there was just no way that she could keep herself from reading it when it was right there on her lap. I told her I completely understood. I had also personally flown through the whole series in only a few days. 

Watching her start the last book in a series without so much as a breath since finishing the one before it gave me the best visual of how I feel when I am reading. I truly understood her desire to devour all of the material she could; to make the series a part of her and not let it go until she absolutely had to. I watched her look up every few minutes to see what stop we were passing, hoping she hadn’t missed her’s (but would it really have been that bad if she had to stay on and read for a few extra minutes?). I reminisced of the times I had missed my own stop on the train because I was wholeheartedly a part of the literature in my hands.

The thing about readers is that we can see and understand how each other is feeling. Seeing someone read one of your favorite books is one of the best feelings you could ever have. While you may feel alone at times, there are constant reminders that there are other people “alone” too. We are all just too into our book-ish worlds, tuning out the packed subway cars around us, to notice that other people are doing the same thing.