Recently I was having a not-so-happy day and decided to walk from work to Atlantic Avenue, about thirty minutes. Clear my head, purge my thoughts, avoid being myself. It just needed to happen and luckily it helped. At first, anyway.
As I’m walking I see something atop a mailbox. ‘What’s this?’ I think to myself, far too excitedly. I have a nasty habit of collecting things I find, convincing myself it’s okay because it’s fate as my conscience is beaten to silence. ‘Why, it looks as if someone left this book here.’ Immediately my mind races with the possibility of being involved in a book crossing scenario and how it might be some sort of sign. I shove the book in my bag and continue on my walk, not looking around to see if anyone noticed what I did.
Let me just note, at no point was it at all made obvious that I was involved in book crossing.
Here I am walking down 4th Avenue, happy as can be now with my new book that I couldn’t wait to read and put somewhere random so a stranger could take it. Should I leave it on a mailbox again? Maybe next to someone’s stoop? The more I walked the more I thought of how weird and really intense I was being about this whole thing.
In reality, I probably stole a book from a high school student that had to read this for class. I pictured her rushing into a store really quick to buy something, maybe a refreshing Coke, book in hand, placing it upon the mailbox. Cue me, walking down the street, grumpy as hell. I take some little girl’s book, shove it in my bag, and continue down the street without even giving it a second thought. She walks out of the store, looks for her book. Commence crying and any people around seeing me strolling away with confidence.
Then to top it all off I was going to just throw it next to someone’s steps like I’m trying to rid myself of the cursed Jumanji board.
Anyway so I read THAT book. It was good, I actually really enjoyed it. The plot wasn’t anything too special; literally just a story about a preteen girl growing up; the coolest part is that she was black and growing up through the 60’s and 70’s which is a time period I so desperately wish I could have lived through. Coffee Will Make You Black by April Sinclair. Very simple book, probably because it’s meant for a high school reading list to teach you some sort of key lesson or to help you through puberty and the struggles of the New York public school system.
By the way, it’s on my bookshelf. I haven’t passed it along (yet).