I sat in Northern Virginia traffic today on the way home from work. Office Space, stop and go, mind-numbing traffic. As my car crept forward and stopped yet again, my thoughts wandered to green pastures and lollipops in a hopeless attempt to stay sane. Just then, I happened to glance at the car next to me. Inside was a man who couldn't be more than thirty-five. His hair was black, streaked with gray and pulled back into a tight pony-tail. His face was thin, cheeks sunken, and had that "I live alone" look.
The man leaned over, completely oblivious of my staring and picked up a huge blue binder. At first I thought he was looking at a photo album, but upon further scrutiny I realized he was looking at a card collection. I could be mistaken (not likely), but I'm certain the cards were fantasy/graphic novel related.
This is the point in the story where I'm ashamed of myself. I love fantasy novels. I write them. Harry Potter is one of my favorite books. But I laughed at him. I turned my head away so he couldn't see me, and I laughed. There was something so comical about how engrossed he was by this card collection in the middle of rush hour traffic. It was so stereotypically geeky.
Eventually, however, I was bored again. To combat the monotony, I pulled The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile from my purse and began reading. It didn't take long for me to ponder what reading in stop and go traffic said about my "coolness" level. I couldn't help but compare my social status to that of fantasy card collection man and ultimately didn't find any differences. But I still didn't put the book away. Perhaps the person next to me got a good laugh.
Card collections man 1 Beth 1 Inner Geek 1