Wednesday, January 07, 2015

This one time, when I was discovered in a bookshop

When I was fifteen sometimes on Sundays
I’d catch the bus to town.
There was one that lumbered down the mountain road in the morning,
and one that went home in the late afternoon.

I’d walk a few blocks,
through the empty mall, the grey streets,
(the wind springing up from the docks
caused my growing body to ache),
to Book City, about the only place open.
(This was before I came of age
and Hobart came of age
and the world came of age.)

I could read whole novels in under an hour,
and no one ever minded. Standing,
or sitting down right there on the bookshop floor.

Beginner’s Love, Forever, Hey Dollface,
The Divorce Express, I Never Loved Your Mind.

This one time when I was reading
a man came up, depressingly unremarkable, 
middle aged, wearing a raincoat. He wanted to know
if I’d ever thought about a career in modelling,
because he was a photographer,
and he’d like to take some photos of me.

‘No thank you,’ I said, and went back to my book.
I didn't even think it was suspicious
that he didn't have any camera gear, or a business card.
It was just that you had to be tall 
to be a model.