Don’t Read Over My Shoulder

Don’t read over my shoulder. I know we’re on a plane, jammed together for the next few hours on these tiny airline seats, and you’re bored. But really, I’m just as boring. Maybe I’m writing a short story about a cat named asshole. Yes. That sounds like something I’d do. Maybe I’m working on a knitting pattern. That’s not the point.

The point is that I love writing crap and don’t want to feel weird about it. Yes, this means you, strange person walking behind me at the pool while I’m frantically scratching away at an old composition notebook in a bikini and men’s shirt, my reddened, freckled skin peeling off my frame. I look mentally deranged, but still, I feel entitled to look mentally deranged in public in peace.

Why do I feel entitled to this I wonder. I wouldn’t give it to anyone else. If I was a young woman like me scrawling in a notebook, I would not only look at her and try to get a glimpse of what she was writing, but I would be endlessly mean about it. I wouldn’t say anything to her, or probably anyone else, but I would remember her every now and then, and think catty thoughts. What was up with that? I bet she was writing “Mrs. Harry Styles” over and over and over again. Yeah, she seems the type. Crazy eyes, I would think, even though I hadn’t seen her face.

So judge away. We all need fabricated stories to tell our friends. Maybe I can be yours. “Did you see that crazy girl on the plane? Three hours and she never looked up from the notebook once. Didn’t say a word to anyone. Do you think she could talk? Maybe she couldn’t. I bet she was writing the same sentence over and over. Yeah, I’m pretty sure she was. I could hear it in the rhythm of her pen.” Go for it. Here’s a freebie, on me.

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