I was on one of my innumerable bookstore runs last night when I remembered some article that I once came across, promoting bookstores as a great place to meet potential mates.
What a misconception.
I suspect that the author of said article was being secretly paid by Borders or Barnes and Noble, hoping to up the numbers of customers. Lovelorn, world-weary ones, perhaps. Or, the kind that I seem to be running into all the time—the pervy predators that enjoy skulking about the fiction and literature section, pretending to be literary moguls.
There are several ways that these not-so-sneaky-nor-subtle men operate…I shall proceed to reenact some of these scenes.
Pervy Predator Scenario No. 1:
I am in the literature section of a two-floor Borders, contentedly flipping through a book. Up comes a respectable, if slightly intimidating-looking man. I clutch my mobile a bit tighter. If needed, I will…I don’t know, poke him the in eye with it. (I should think about investing in mace.)
And he asks me if I’ve read The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. It’s a very good book, he enthuses, moving in closer.
In the midst of his heartfelt proclamations about how the book changed his life and the lives of others, I am hit by an epiphany:
Oh god. He’s pervy and in some sort of Ayn Rand-worshipping cult, I think, and subtly back away. Perhaps it isn’t too late to make my escape while not looking rude (or scared out of my wits). Why, oh why is the literature section so deserted?!
He doesn’t seem to have noticed my inner panic-mode, and casually (ha!) asks what my major is and if I go to la Madeleine’s a lot. He and his friends have a bookclub metting there every Thursday night, he says hopefully. I can join them if I want.
By this time, I must resemble some sort of trapped animal. (A zebra, maybe. They’re a bit zany-looking and skittish.) I should have guessed. His sort of bookstore-lurking predator always has a bookclub and friends who, lo and behold, are nowhere in sight.
I study classic Russian literature, I fib, and am actually only visiting from Montana.Yes, bring on the Lolita wise-cracks, I know. Also…Montana?! What was I thinking of? Nevermind that my geography gets a bit blurry and nebulous past Virgina, and that I have never met an Asian person hailing from Montana. While he’s absorbing this information, I quickly excuse myself and make my getaway.
At last, freedom and sanctuary, found in the travel section.