Saturday, January 22, 2011
I'm on the road: living the hotel life, working long hours, trying to chip away at Mount To-Be-Read, and missing my wife like peanut butter misses jelly. Each morning, I rise early, and go to the hotel's exercise room where, iPod earbuds sunk into my head and Run Lola Run cranked up high, I do my best to burn off my beer belly (or "wine waistline," as the case may be).
At the tail end of this morning's session (5 miles and 846 calories on the elliptical, in case you're asking), a woman came in, sat down on the recumbent bike next to me, and started pedaling. Instead of an iPod, she was carrying a Kindle. Her hair was pulled back in a ponytail so severe, she practically had eyes in the back of her head. Her mouth was set in a flat, grim line and she got right down to the business of pedaling and turning e-Pages.
I finished on the elliptical, toweled off the handlebars and--I swear I just couldn't help myself--I asked the standard book-fanatic's question: "Whatcha reading?"
The look on her face was like that moment when Deer met Headlights.
"Oh, uh," she looked down at her Kindle, as if the device would save her from me, the only man in the room. And a huffing, sweaty man at that. "I, uh, don't even know the title, really. It's a Special Ops book."
Special Ops? I thought. Really? I thought for sure, she'd say something like "Water for Elephants" or "The Help." After giving her a second look, I decided she did kind of have that Marine-y look about her. Or maybe it was a different Special Ops book?
Either way, I could see the fluster building in her eyes and I knew that was my cue to make my exit (hey, I'm a guy, but after 27 years of marriage, I can read female signals). I made some small talk about grabbing my Kindle and giving it a workout--then realized how that sounded, so I beat a hasty retreat for the hotel's breakfast bar.
Miss Recumbent Bike's eyes were practically welling with tears of relief.
So, to this anonymous Kindle reader and all readers out there who just want to be left alone to read in peace, I dedicate this video.