by Dean Jolly
A brief encounter at a book signing (Work in progress)
|She reminded me of a girl I used to know back home. The way her thoughts swelled like the ocean. Deep thoughts that gave way to words that rolled over you like a wave. Words that overwhelmed, intrigued, excited, stirred, engulfed, infused, inspired and resonated. We had met at one of my book signings. Her slender hand had slipped a copy of my latest book of poetry under my nose, and it was then that I had gotten the first glimpse of her face. She exuded playfulness with her almost pixie-like features. Her pointed ears only partially hidden under cropped Auburn hair.
"I can't believe it's really you!" She had exclaimed, only half managing to conceal a blush. "I love your work, its..I...would you mind signing? My name's Annie"
"With pleasure" I nodded and dutifully signed, noting as I did the faint scent of her perfume.
"I'm so glad to get to finally meet you! You're a really good poet Sean, you have a real gift." Her words were unapologetically and unequivocally sincere.
"It's lovely to meet you too, Annie" I had replied, as I handed her back her now signed copy of my book. Her eyes found the inscription which read "To Annie, the muse with the auburn hair." She bit her bottom lip in a smile, looked at me and said...
"Where do poets wonder but the high ground of the mind, and come to rest on lonely steps to sit a while, to sit awhile..."
She was quoting from my book. Before I had the time to reply, an employee of the book shop shuffled into frame and whispered in my ear that they were due to close in twenty minutes, and that I should move things along. I turned back to apologise to Annie for cutting our time short, but she was already gone.
The remaining twenty minutes went by unremarkably. I nodded and smiled, made small talk, signed a handful more autographs, all the while thinking about Annie and her auburn hair and pixie-like features. Annie the muse. Annie who's eyes did the smiling, even as her mouth formed the words she quoted from my book. Words that she seemed to understand more so than most. As the last of the crowd dissipated, I gathered up my things and headed towards the exit... and there she stood. My muse.
"Hey, look..I don't normally do this..but would you like to go for a drink..with me?"
I was momentarily taken aback. Here was a woman, a very attractive woman, who was not only a fan of my work, but actually found me interesting enough to ask me out for drinks.
"...That is to say if you...
"...I'd love to, Annie... I cut in ...in fact I think that would be wonderful"
With a smile she took my hand, and with a gentle pressure pulled me through the door and into the pale light of a crescent moon. Across town we found a small booth in a quaint little bar called Dougies. We ordered drinks and then she told me that against her better judgement, she had waited around for me to finish signings just so she could tell me how much she admired my poetry. I listened as she told me how she was inspired by certain lines and stanzas, and how she'd travelled a great distance just to meet me. I was flattered. I was no Robert Frost, I certainly wasn't in the same league as Neruda or Bukowski. "You're a really good poet Sean, you have a real gift." That's what she had told me.