Shitty Bat Signal
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I buy one large soda, diet. And I bring a book, I've been re-reading the same page of Game of Thrones for 6 months. I choose people deep in conversation. No loners or families or old couples who have nothing left to say and who have sex as a long-healed-over scar that they occasionally rub. Long-lost siblings, groups of friends, a new couple in that tunnel-vision phase. The careless, the pre-occupied, the easily distracted. I sit at the next table, facing away, and the trick of it is you do it right away, you check right away. When you're putting your coat down on the chair, in that brief waltz where you can get real close to a stranger and it's not weird. You reach to your coat pocket, for your phone or the book, and slip your other hand in their coat pocket, and it all has to happen so fast, like a magician combined with a master grocer. With your fingertips, it's leather, is it hard like a glasses case or soft like a wallet? It's paper, can you feel the thin pulp-style of an open notebook, or the hard wrinkle of cash? And you use all your fingers at once, one feel keys the other spreads over to feel a receipt, the next a movie ticket and the last feels loose coins. The list of things that are "take" is pretty long, but the list of things that are "leave" is much longer, almost infinite in fact. At first you learn that lesson, in the first month. I ended up with a school picture and a good-bye note and a pair of reading glasses and an old cherry. I felt bad about that stuff, money I don't feel bad about. But that person, they needed that school picture much more than me. [Free]Posted by Dan at November 21, 2012 3:49 PM