A World of Speculation

She comes to the library table, huge in her green coat and overfilled leggings, wheezing like a fireplace bellows, and looks at me uncertainly. I’ve allowed the book I was looking at to wander outside my territory on the table. I move the book and tell her that no one is sitting there, and she sits across from me and sets down a stack of books on witchcraft, tarot, astrology and palmistry. She is in her late teens to mid-20s, and her hair comes out of her scalp dark blonde, then switches to electric pink, then strawberry, then faded orangy-red where it ends just at her shoulders.

She hunches over Spells for Teenage Witches; the chubby hands that hold the book have dark dimples where the knuckles would be. She looks at the texts with an expression of profound and perplexed concentration, her eyebrows formed into ~’s over her eyes, her mouth hanging open slightly.

The teen witch books show bright-eyed blondes–thin, tan, cheerleader types, the image of the “successful” witch. I wonder what she expects to find in the pages of those books. A job in a house with “PALM READER” in the window? Money and tans and a good figure? A paper for an English class? A glimpse of a world beyond?

She leaves the remainders on the table: Advanced Wiccan Spirituality, Spells for Teenage Witches, Springtime Rituals Love & Celebration, The Forest of Souls.

Of course someone could pity my unrealistic dreams when I walk away from the book I’ve been looking at: Screenwriting Updated: New (and Conventional) Ways of Writing for the Screen. What does she want, this pitying person could blog. Money, tans and a good figure? A job in a house with “SCREENWRITER” on her calling card? An educational opportunity? A glimpse of her world on a magic screen?

Every shelf here contains worlds and worlds; and every pair of eyes looking at them also.