I was the attractive guy reading a book on the train the other day. I didn’t sit, so that other people could have space to sit on. I leaned on the locking slide door. The other side of door always opened, allowing the wave of people in and out.
You see, these days I’m covering up some books that I take out to read. Some of those are literature, and others are scientific articles. Either way, I am not quite sure why, has embarrassed me to show other people to know what I’m reading. I collect some plating papers then, from a café or restaurant, or use recycling papers, to cover up those books to take outside. No one knows what the book is about, including myself.
“What is that book about?” asked a guy in gray sweater. He approached me from the other side of slide doors that just slipped. Well trimmed beard, short hair and tall height of his recalled me of a figure from Andalusia, Spain, or somewhere from Italy. Among all, one thing I noticed firmly was that he was holding a kindle.
“What is that book about?” he asked again, this time in English. I must have been staring at him for a moment, which might make him think that I didn’t speak Spanish. I shrugged as smiling, then answered back in Spanish. “Well, a bit difficult to answer as if asked who I am about?”
“I can guess who you are.” He continued, “as the title says much of what the book is about.” I nodded. I agreed, truly, but just wanted others not to stare to know what I’d read. “Why you’d cover it up?”
“Not to judge by its cover.” I said, thinking it was too cliché what I was saying. But it was true that others would judge according to what I’d read in public. I recalled of a guy in subway who set up a satire of this judgement.
I barely made an eye contact having a conversation with him. I was intimidated. I thought that covering another layer over to avoid a judgement by its original cover was a sadden solution.
“What are you reading?” I asked. You see, it’s not fair since you have a kindle that no one else would know what you are reading. “The Japanese lover, by Isabel Allende,” he replied. “And do you like it so far?” I asked again. “Humm, I need to finish the story to answer that.”
Sure, once you are in the story you can’t judge the story until knowing how it ends. I closed the book and headed up to look at him. “It’s my stop. Belgrano C Station.” “It was nice to meet you.” He kindly nodded. “Could you figure a bit then who I am by my cover?” I became curious.
“It’s interesting, both what you are reading and who you are.” He answered a bit after a pause.
“How would you tell?” I asked, getting off the train as the slide doors slipped the other side.
“Because both are covered up blank.”