Imagine this: I lounged around after work too long yesterday, and so my little three-mile jog was delayed. I took my normal route, a hair worried about getting back before sunset (my neighborhood is a trifle iffy crimewise).
From several yards, halfway through my run, I saw a guy, sitting on a bench near the duck pond. HE WAS READING LORDS OF CH’I. This is about, well, 1.5 miles from my apartment! I stopped dead. Impossible. A guy. My book. So close to my house? I did sell a copy!
I kind of shyly approached him and he looked up. I must have looked really dreadful–sweaty and redfaced, etc. I pointed to the book and he said “have you read it?” I said “I wrote it,” we laughed, and he proceeded to quiz me a little so I could prove my story. Nice guy, mid-thirties, a little geeky looking. (After all, he’s reading a romance fantasy in the park at dusk.) He said he was enjoying it so far.
I was really stunned at the coincidence, feeling PRETTY DAMNED GOOD about myself. As I waved and started on my way, he called “It’s even signed!” Stopped cold again. Signed? Maybe he bought it at our local Borders. I went back, and looked inside. “To Phil and Will, much love, Terry.” My inlaws, who live two blocks away. Phil is a woman.
I got mildly suspicious. Had this geek broken into my aged inlaws house and stolen their treasured possessions? Were they okay, or were they in pools of blood on the kitchen floor?
He nodded. “I bought a bag of books for two dollars at their yard sale.”