Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Someone's Son

He is a snarl of metal pierced flesh and ink, a hieroglyphic life story, each body part a chapter added, still adding. Atop a bag he sits, back to the columns guarding the door to the big box book store, arms on knees and head bowed to the sun of the Indian Summer.

Through the doors, aisles of ideas and thoughts wait for one to take and eat, collecting dust. Fiction is the real winner and relevant life stories of the rich and famous, names familiar along the best sellers. Every once in a while a new name joins the ranks for longer than a week.

Coffee cups guide people by the hand round and round, periodically talking seats on shelves as they thumb through or sit reading magazines they have no intention of buying, but gleaning enough to talk intelligent in office conversations or at lunch. A pair of hands bridge the gap across a table, eyes sending instant messages encoded/decoded by cardiac code breakers.

Music subtly sets the mood, pace, tone, a soundtrack. Children run down the center to their section, train station, story time. They color pages in bright colored crayon to post on the faux tree wall.

[Rewind] He sits outside the doors, his empty hands, palm raised to the sun. An idea once, now shelved, name etched on his spine waiting for fingers to grace, blow the dust off and decide he's worth reading.

One car passes and then another.


written for Imperfect Prose

64 comments:

Monkey Man said...

Nothing like people watching at the book store. It's a whole different kind of book to read. Even with the last pages left blank.

Anyes said...

He went all the way and got published, he will also be read :-)

ells said...

yes...learning to read what matters...
Blessings~

David Allen Waters said...

watching others...it can be an interesting way to pass time, I often try and create a story for them, what their life is,has been,will be....but one never truly knows....

Lorraine said...

All in good time...and You, Brian Miller, do it every day

HopeUnbroken said...

i love how you put me right there. . .

Lisa notes... said...

Is he worth reading? Always. May this lesson stick with me today. I used to let my eyes flutter past the tatted up ones; now, never. Their stories are rich. I need to read.

Daniel said...

Kind of a reflective piece today. From one writer musing on others. Some push so hard to join that crowd, only to end up collecting dust on a shelf as life races past.

Sue said...

Poignant words that left me feeling sad, afraid I might pass that "book" by as well. And others like him.

Thanks, Brian, You gave me some soul-searching to do.

=)

Rachel said...

the way you watch people...what you draw from their silent eyes and faces...it continues to amaze me.

Pat Hatt said...

You stalker you
Or would that just be a galker or a stalking walker or a stalking walking galker?..haha
Is quite fun to watch as people go about
And make their own book as they shout
Most are worth reading
But the scary ones that might leave you bleeding.ha

Ruthiey said...

"A pair of hands bridge the gap across a table, eyes sending instant messages encoded/decoded by cardiac code breakers."

Love how you captured the essence of an interaction.

I told my brother Stephen about your blog and he's been checking it out. :) He's a poet as well.

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

This hit close to home for me, very well written.

Fred said...

Brian, I love watching other people. Used to do it so much, had this one job way back in Jersey and I'd take the Bus into NYC then the subway system- lots of fun watching. I still do it but not nearly as much as I like, B & N is a great place to do just that and where I do get my people watching fix on now and then- perfect setting for your tale, and many subtle little observations about books and society in general- great read, thanks

tinkwelborn said...

great description of people-watching & a bookstore...
I like this line very much:
Coffee cups guide people by the hand round and round,

and, I like the [Rewind] stanza.

''One car passes and then another.''

……..Life!

wonderful piece.
thanks.

Valerie said...

'Coffee cups guide people by the hand round and round, periodically talking seats on shelves as they thumb through or sit reading magazines they have no intention of buying, but gleaning enough to talk intelligent in office conversations or at lunch. A pair of hands bridge the gap across a table, eyes sending instant messages encoded/decoded by cardiac code breakers.'

THAT IS A WONDERFUL PIECE OF WRITING. This has become my all time favourite.

SuzyQ said...

I want to go read his book now!
Interesting characters always make interesting stories :)

kaykuala said...

Brian,
Perfect picture of the typical phenomena of people watching. A profession that would not bore and a learning experience in fact!

Hank

Tara Miller said...

I always enjoy our trips to the bookstore - there's just a comfort in being there with a family and a warm cup of coffee in hand. Everyone has a story....an important story in this book of life.

hedgewitch said...

Like the old song--'every picture tells a story, don't it...' and every person's a biography on the shelf of life. Man--I am teh profound today--loved this look at the waves of humanity washing against the written word's shores.

happygirl said...

Is this you? I'd read you. I'd pull you off the shelf. :)

redemptionsbeauty said...

Learned the most about life by people watching myself. Nice visuals in the story. Thanks for visiting my place today!

my day in a sentence said...

I like this one. :)

Goofball said...

is he begging?

Maggie May said...

You can learn a lot by watching others at a Library!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

otin said...

That guy sounds like me!! lol

the walking man said...

[Rewind] He sits outside the doors, his empty hands, palm raised to the sun. An idea once, now shelved, name etched on his spine waiting for fingers to grace, blow the dust off and decide he's worth reading.

One car passes and then another.



The trash maybe but never in the super duper bargain bin.

The Orange Tree said...

This blog is a book itself,
each post is a story in it,
and you write your book on daily basis.

reading your book is a dynamic process, which means we read a story at a time, interactive comments make it live...

another fabulous post to chew.

Ed Pilolla said...

the modern life that lives around and even beneath words.

oceangirl said...

People watch others but what YOU see is something else. I see by reading YOU.

Mrsupole said...

It's funny how one can be people watching and not realize that one is being watched. Have you ever had that happen? Do you acknowledge that you know they are watching you watch?

So sad that so many book stores are closing. Such a loss for future generations. Save your books while you can, because you never know who you may save.

God bless.

Joanna Jenkins said...

People watching is half the fun at a good book store.

You captured the moment perfectly.

jj

Betsy said...

I agree that people watching is fun. And people are different in different place. Book stores tend to show more relaxed people. Airports are altogether different. lol.

rain :: said...

An idea once, now shelved, name etched on his spine waiting for fingers to grace, blow the dust off and decide he's worth reading.

perfect. gave me soul-chills.

janae said...

The truth found midst the mundane. May we have eyes to see.
Your [rewind] portrayal is so haunting, I feel his need and I ache.
Thank you, Janae

lifeisaroadtrip said...

What a lovely piece! Does everything just flow so easily from you? I can't imagine you even have time to come up with a few "stinkers".

Claudia said...

kinda sad that we're so interested in the biography of famous people and so disinterested in the people around us..someone's son he is and worth to be read carefully..

♫♪♥PhilO♥♪♫ said...

The smell of books.. And the feel of the pages.. :)

The first paragraph, and the last. Amazing!

adeeyoyo said...

Covered in tattoos and piercings, stories of his life, perhaps? Ignored by passers-by only interested in books about the rich and famous. I love the last sentence: 'An idea once, now shelved, name etched on his spine waiting for fingers to grace, blow the dust off and decide he's worth reading.'

Alan Burnett said...

Prose like music : full and melodic.

ladyfi said...

So heart-breaking and beautifully written.

Dave King said...

It should have been written for "Perfect Prose". A really delightful piece, a joy to read.

AmyLK said...

You're a book sitting on the shelf waiting to be read... Love it!

She Writes said...

Do you have me feeling melancholy over a book? :)!

emily wierenga said...

"and decide he's worth reading."
i pray i will consider all of the least of these worth reading. for their stories are most powerful. love how you truly see...

Lady Nyo said...

Rather a sad, poignant piece, Brian, but colored by your lazer gaze.

Brilliant...you get better and better.

Lady Nyo

Daydreamertoo said...

You are so good at observing people and then capturing the moments for everyone else to read.
An amazing writer Brian.

Justin said...

This is sort of praise of important stories and a lament about unimportant "popular" biography. Well done.

Heather said...

i just came from the bookstore....a great place for a bux and a little people watching...the sad eyes always leave me wondering too.

lori said...

"He sits outside the doors, his empty hands, palm raised to the sun. An idea once, now shelved, name etched on his spine waiting for fingers to grace, blow the dust off and decide he's worth reading."

Ugh. That is so, so good. Definitely my favorite part, and I do hope someone finds him worth the time.

Adam said...

People watching is interesting. Everyone has their own quirks when picking something

missing moments said...

Another nice one!

Bethany Ann said...

whoa, cool.

"doodle pad" is what the guys at the ol' factory called those blokes.

The Retired One said...

Sometimes I feel that way about my photography...so many images to share and they have to appeal to another person, they have to see the same magic in the image that I did to buy one....and when it does happen, it is amazing.

ayala said...

A great write...someone's son..everyone has a story worth telling...I am amazed sometimes at the stories people share with me...love the bookstore :)

messy marriage said...

You are like a human camera that captures every minute detail when the rest of us miss the picture for the whole! I'm impressed just "watching you and your words."

Myrna R. said...

So tender, so sensitive. This must be what makes you such a great writer, the way you can select details that many of us disregard. You pay attention to life. That's wonderful Brian, that you notice someone else's son.

Blessings, take care.

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

"He is a snarl of metal pierced flesh and ink, a hieroglyphic life story, each body part a chapter added, still adding..."

Hi! Brian...
Thanks, for sharing your very descriptive and well-written poetic words.

Anything I can add have already been added by your commenter(readers)...I hope you have a great week-end too!
deedee :-D

Syd said...

I often wonder what the lives of others are like. What is their story?

Magpie said...

Beautifully written, Brian. Takes me right into the moment. Love how you related him to a book.
I understand how generous your heart is, but unlike the books on the shelves, this young man may have made some choices of his own that brought him to this moment. Just sayin... :)

secret agent woman said...

So easy not to notice. Glad you did.

The Empress said...

You see everyone: the hardened faces in the newspaper telling of a recent crime, and I think, "everyone was someone's toothless grinning baby once."

Jyoti Mishra said...

loved the way u ended it !!
Nice read :)

tera said...

I like this a lot. I know a couple guys like that... :)