Wednesday, March 25, 2015

She's Leaving Home (Bye Bye)

I returned home after purchasing a Carlos Fuentes book and a dark purple scarf from the thrift store in my neighborhood and was startled to see a book of Paul McCartney poetry fall mysteriously from my jacket. I retraced events and concluded that I had inadvertently stolen this book. You see, at the thrift store the books are displayed awkwardly with covers facing out, concealing the spines of books that are shelved normally. This means book browsers have to shuffle books around if they want to see what’s available. I was trying to maneuver books around on the shelf over my head when several hardcovers cascaded down on me. I bent down to pick up the books, and offered an apology to the stern woman at the counter. I didn’t realize that one of the books landed in the hood of my jacket. 

I sat in my comfy armchair, leafing through the pages, trying to decide if I should go back to the thrift store and pay for the book or return it. I found it impossible to read the poems without singing them.  Singing, “She’s Leaving Home” in my fake English accent to an audience made up of myself, I noticed that I didn’t need to read along. I’ve already committed the lyrics to memory. However, I decided to add the book to my collection, perhaps to add to my classroom library. It would be great for English language learners. Maybe fate had planted that book in the hood of my jacket and it has some deep purpose in my life. That sounds reasonable to me. When I went back to pay for it, the clerk didn’t say anything and her face was impassive.

I myself am planning to leave home very shortly. Where exactly, I don’t know. I have a few ideas, but am not even sure in which direction I’ll go. The gloom of “She’s Leaving Home” got a little tiresome, even when I imitated John Lennon’s voice for the chorus, so I switched to “Honey Pie,” about another kind of lady, one who needs to get out and see the world. That one I can sing while pretending to tap dance.

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