The Hospitality of A Tale Well Told

I was in the doctor's waiting room, people-watching till my name was called. (On a side note, the room was also called the "Sala de Espera." In Spanish, the word "to wait" is related to the word "to hope," or "esperanza." Nice.) One of the men who had checked in was an older man. He was a grizzled Boston dude, wearing handyman-type overalls, with an inability to pronounce the letter "r" when it came after the letter "a."

The television was blaring, everyone else was watching "Street-Smarts," a game show I had never seen before and hopefully will never encounter again. Meanwhile, this guy opened his book, a black hardcover without a jacket cover that looked SERIOUSLY thick. Already halfway through it, he was captivated again, turning pages fast.

I stretched, stood up, wandered over to the window, and pretended I was perusing the sailboats on the Charles. And then I leaned over and stole a look. Just as I had thought. Another clandestine Harry Potter fan. I wanted to say, as Beauty did to the Beast in one of my favorite Disney movies: "Come into the light." But I didn't. It was enough to savor his pleasure vicariously, and cheer for the story-loving kid in all of us.