I am listening to a man talk about having to take Xanax every night because he can’t sleep. He is not on T.V., and he is not talking to me.
I’m not being rude. He just happens to be seated about three yards away from me in a chair at the bookstore talking on his cell phone. He is not using his “six-inch voice”, as we teachers like to call it.
I came to the bookstore to write so I would avoid the temptation of trying to type during a television show or the various other distractions at my house. I don’t know what I was thinking.
I probably should get up and move somewhere else, but I don’t want to give up my chair. I lingered in the magazine section for twenty minutes so I could score this nice, comfy seat in the sunlight.
I’ve already learned that: this man has sleep problems, he has a daughter about to return to school, and that his wife, Kim, is going to be an Empty Nester.
I thought he was about to hang up, but apparently someone new came on the line, and now he is repeating the saga of his sleep problems.
I am wondering why he is at the bookstore. Did he need to find himself a quiet place without distractions in order to talk on his cell phone?
Now there is a trio of teenagers looking at the gaming magazines right across from me, which really makes me question my chosen location. Cell Phone Guy has hung up, so I am eager for some new entertainment.
But they walk away after barely thirty seconds of chatter, leaving me to wish the Man Who Can’t Sleep would call someone else. Otherwise, I have to stare at my blank iPad and try to think of something to type out of my own head. This is much harder than noting down annoyances in my surroundings.
There are some oddly fascinating magazines on the shelves. There is one called Hi-Fructose in front of me with a girl with no eyes on her face and butterflies and flowers framing her head. And Harry Connick Junior is giving me a disconcerting grin from the cover of “Success” magazine.
My eyes fall on the magazines next to Harry, all about finance and money, and I feel my anxiety level ascending. I start to think about all of the things that I should be doing to make my future more financially stable, and sitting here typing about the strangers I see at the bookstore begins to seem like more and more of a really bad idea.
I look at Cell Phone Guy, and wonder if it would be rude to ask him for a Xanax.