A couple of months back I went to meet a friend at the local mall. Well, it was my birthday and he wanted a treat full of beers. He was traveling from another place. Thanks to all the city hazards of traffic and hopping multiple trains and what-nots he got delayed by a couple of hours. I did not want to sit in the pub all by myself. Nor did I want to settle in the mall’s coffee shop to zone out and get lost in my phone.
Result: I was left stranded in the middle of a mall milling with the weekend crowd.
A bit perturbed about the long wait, I thought maybe I should head back home and come back later. But home was not close. I knew once I go home and get in my comfy tees and PJs, I am not coming back here again. 😛
Three words drifted through my head: Comfy tees and PJs and my half-read copy of Dickens’s Tale of Two Cities. I needed a book fix, right now. And then I saw it… the lovely franchise bookstore of Landmark, with its cushy pouffes and impressive collection of books. (Henry Miller, Anais Nin, Bukowski, Anthony Burgess)
My refuge, my haven! I was home, without being at home. I grabbed a comfortable seat, pushed to it to an isolated nook away from the noisy children’s books section and finished off Jennifer Niven’s All the Bright Places. Then I moved on to Robert Burns Selected Poems. I was in the middle of Delia, An Ode when my friend called. I didn’t realize it was already time. 🙂
PS: After our beers and conversations, I took my friend back to the store so that he could give me a birthday present. Caught between an Asterix comic book and Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events:The End, he chose the latter. Odd present choice for someone who has spent a quarter of a century on this planet, but the birthday girl was glad. 😀