“So…” Sara put her hands in her pockets and turned idly toward Chelsea. “What do you think?”
Chelsea blinked once, and glanced down the street in either direction from the corner. The sun was doing a pleasant job of warming the fall air, though it was stark in the bare sky, and both of them squinted every time they came out of the shadows. The hotels and shops towered above them on either side of the street, as fanciful and exuberant as described in the brochures, but cheesy and exaggerated under the warm light of day. There was an old soda cup crushed in the gutter, with the lid hanging on by the straw, the same as they might find at home. What people there were, strode down the street, heads canted down in their own thoughts, no differently than if they were on their way to work or the grocery store or the laundromat.
In all fairness, that was probably where they were headed.
She was losing days. Folding into spaces small enough to fit between two hands, she was passing through hours, never quite knowing how she would climb back out. She forgot herself, forgot how ankles and knees and hips were supposed to fit between bones, and how she was supposed to move any of them. If she moved, it was just her eyes, just her hands, just her idling fingers.
One page turn, and then another, and she was losing her days in the space pressed between thin paper, her body forgotten in the corner of the window. And finding some other lifetimes.
My favorite author, Patrick Rothfuss recently came out with a new book on October 28th.
When he announced it, I ran around for a few hours feeling like my heart was pumping helium around my body. That is to say that I was lighter than air, walked too fast and barely felt as if I was walking on my feet, and my voice was three octaves too high as I told every one I knew. I did not feel any of the strange, adverse, and horrible effects of my veins being filled with a gas instead of a liquid.
I read his first two books (The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear, the beginning and middle chapters of The Kingkiller Chronicles) just after I graduated from college. After months of sweating through an Honors Thesis and reading the sort of thick things that get assigned to senior English majors, I took a sweet run inside his world. I also happened to be vacationing in southern California at the time, but I might as well have been in Antarctica for all that I noticed the beautiful weather.
I imagine I would smile at him when I see him through the glass door. I don’t know how else you greet a person who knows you better than anyone else. He smiles back as he pulls open the diner door and walks toward me. He says something weird and sweet, because we find it easier to wish sincere good mornings when we’re not saying it in words that have been ironed into platitudes by daily use.
He sets a book on the table. It’s heavy enough to drag down the corner of the table. While he slips off his coat, I reach for it, because it’s exactly the kind that I like: thick, dignified, and probably filled with that tissue-thin paper that feels like silk on my fingertips.
“Not even two seconds, and you’ve already got your hands on it,” he scolds, but he’s laughing.
I snap my hands back, rest them on my head while I hold in an embarrassed smile. “Sorry!” I say. And he only grins down at me, knowing that I couldn’t resist.