The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

The Biblio-Commuter

The man’s briefcase lies across his legs like a desk and he rests his elbows on it. The U-Bahn stops, but he does not. He inhales, sits up straight, leans in to read the final page of a massive book. At the conclusion, he smiles to himself with delight and closes the copy. He holds the front and back covers in his palms for a moment–a prayer of gratitude.

Then eagerly, but cautiously, he unclicks the latches of his case. He slides the completed book in and removes a green hardback still encased in cellophane. Without breaking his gaze from the new book, he uncovers it, crumpling the wrapper and sliding it as quietly as possible into the briefcase. He readies his desk and brushes the new book’s cover. Still several stops from home, he prepares for the first scene.

–Vienna, Austria.

Vienna, Austria, statues

11 comments on “The Biblio-Commuter

  1. carolinebotwin
    April 17, 2013

    Your ability to match your theme to a piicture is marvelous!

    • Thank you so much for reading and stopping by so often. I appreciate that!
      I am running short on Europe photos. I think it means I need another trip or two… 🙂

  2. hughcurtler
    April 17, 2013

    More biblio than commuter. I daresay he might miss his stop!

    • He may have lived all the way at Heiligenstadt (the end of the line). Or he maybe he just likes to read in motion and rides the train for a relatively quiet place to savor a novel! 🙂

  3. joannerambling
    April 17, 2013

    Blood wonderful you do have so talent my friend

  4. ShimonZ
    April 17, 2013

    a beautiful description of behavior I know well

  5. thenicethingaboutstrangers
    November 17, 2014
  6. motherhendiaries
    November 17, 2014

    Such a wonderful observation. Gotta love strangers on a train… well, sans murder and all… haha!

  7. Jeff Walker
    November 19, 2014

    Oh how many times have I done this same thing? Closed a book, holding it in my palms with tears in my eyes or a smile of knowing gratitude on my lips? And then, after a time, on to the next adventure…

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      November 19, 2014

      I am this way as well, Jeff. I often think of how reading is one of the best parts of being alive! Literature is such a gift.

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