Have you ever had moments when you are out in public and so deeply involved in your book that you look up and don’t know where you are or what is going on around you? That happened to me twice today. I am reading David Copperfield at the moment.
This morning on the train I sat down and disappeared into the book so completely that when I eventually looked up I didn’t know where I was for a moment. Then I was treated to a small panic as I realized I was on the train going to work, and oh no what stop am I at? Did I miss my stop? And it was still dark outside and I couldn’t see anything from inside the lighted train, and Jiminy Cricket, where the heck am I?
Finally I figured out I was one stop before the one I get off at and I sighed in relief. Dickens has made me almost miss my stop before. In fact, it was the last Dickens book I read, A Tale of Two Cities. Only that time I was at my stop when I surfaced and had to bolt for the door.
At lunch today I sunk back so deeply into the book that I had no idea a security guard I am friends with at work was standing right behind my chair. And let me just say, he’s a big man and no one would ever accuse him of being stealthy! I had no idea he was there and wouldn’t have looked up except his waklie-talkie radio thingy went off. I heard loud voices nearby but they seemed so far away. I ignored them at first but they intruded again and when I swam to the surface, there was the security guard leaning over my shoulder trying to see what I was reading! I was still so out of it I wasn’t even startled, I just blinked up at him like an owl.
I see people reading while they walk quite a lot. I think I should not ever try it because I am likely to walk in front of a bus or into a lake or off a bridge. Or should I manage, Mr. Magoo-like to avoid all hazards, when I finally look up I will be standing in the middle of a cornfield in Iowa with no idea how I came to be there.