Holiday Reader

by George Pringle

Q:  “Do you know what it is like to be a person with a limited attention span?”

I’ll let you in on something

A:  “It’s hell.”

As you are reading a page, you begin to notice how the paper smells.  Does it smell like chemical coleslaw? The slippery kind of paper is like that…but more often, a paperback is slightly denser, musty with a top note of PVA, something lived-in and faintly raisin. A little like un-smoked cigarettes.

And then you notice how raised the print is, how it catches on your fingertips.

You start to read a paragraph and then you go back because you drift a bit and suddenly all you see is the sun in the sky, the grass in the wind, how your legs look on the sun lounger, the way they bristle and slide. The grease of sunscreen, the compounds therein that give it that agreeable smell.

Like plastic apricots

And then how funny…the slight way the shifting clouds can hide the sun

The momentarily blue universe

And then you go back and read the same paragraph again

It means the same nothing again

Now the sun is out

And you think about the word “Furtively”. You just read it…

How great the writer must have felt, using a word like that!