Finding a Release

The scratching at the bathroom door was relentless.  Scratch scratch. Pause. Scratch scratch. Pause.

“Go away, Daisy.” Our bulldog was going to give me no peace. I hunched down further over my book as I sat on the toilet lid in our tiny water closet.

Scratch scratch. Pause. Scratch scratch. Pause. No matter where I try to hide, they always find me when I’m trying to read.

“Paula, where are you?” I could hear my husband calling in another room. Should I answer or just wait for discovery in my little corner?

Reading is my release from the world and I guard it jealously, even hunkering down in a dark 2×3 room, away from my family. I am a full immersion reader, getting lost inside my mind for hours at a time, reading all types of content from sci fi or murder mystery novels, parenting articles, sports columns or blogs about mythological imagery. I consume content.

Some people apparently find this lack of discretion In reading materials disturbing. Flying back home late one night from a business meeting, I pulled a Jonathan Kellerman mystery from my carry-on bag. Perfect airplane read. Quick paced, interesting, nothing that would require me to think beyond the next two hours and nothing that would stay with me when I finished.

“What are you reading?” the woman next to me asked. She was a pleasant looking professional and on first glance, we probably had a lot in common. As I showed the book cover to her, her nose wrinkled up as if smelling a rancid bag of trash.

“I never read anything that wouldn’t educate me or my employees. I just don’t have the time.” She proceeded to tell me about the latest book she read on improving dysfunctional teams. Ok, maybe we didn’t have much in common after all.

While she was looking down her nose at my choices as indiscriminate, all I could think was, you poor thing, those are the only things you read?  There are whole worlds out there waiting to be discovered if you would just make the time.

Scratch scratch. Pause. “Paula, do you know where the laundry basket is?”  At this moment locked away in the water closet, it sounds like my time to read is over.

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