"I'll tell you what's so great about it," I looked at her, "it's that desperation is the hardest emotion to convey without falling into self-indulgence and pity."
"So," a co-worker is laughing at me, "you like it because it's desperate."
"Well, partly, yeah. But no," I'm furrowed now. "It's just good."
"You read weird things, though," she turns another book over in her hands. "So there's no like, superheroes in it, right? You're not trying to trick me?"
Sigh. "No. That book," I gesture towards my book that she's holding, "is like, mid-eighteenth century Brit lit. Like it's written by Jane Austin's like, favorite author equivalent of...I don't know. Some clever female feminist author that's popular right now but I've never heard of. I don't know. That book is nothing like Watchmen. It's just fun."
"I can't ever tell with you. You've got that one book that looks like a comic book, but it's not. You know, it's like, pink..."
"See? You read weird things."
"What the fuck? How is the Three Musketeers weird? It's classic."
"Don't you have anything, like, normal?"
"Dude, you asked if you can borrow a book from me--"
"But you know," she flips through the pages of The Adventures of Arabella. "I was thinking like, what was that one? You were talking about it a while ago and then one of my guy friends told me about it the other day, and I was like, 'Yeah, I've totally heard of that.' The one about the haunted house, and it's like the book is haunted too. Can I borrow that one?"
"House of Leaves? You think Three Musketeers is weird and you want to borrow House of fucking Leaves?"
"I don't know, my guy friend said that it was good," she smiles all sheepish and shrugs backwards, blushing.
"Fine, I'll get for you, but...dude: you thought Kurt Vonnegut was weird. I don't know if you're going to like that book."
"But it sounds interesting! And...scary. I like, like...you know, scary books sometimes."
"Good. That's awesome. I mean, it's fascinating and all, the story elements and how they're woven together, but, I mean, I didn't even get half of it..." she's looking me straight in the eyes and cannot hear a word I'm saying. Or at least, she temporarily walled up her ears. She's a very smart girl, really, way smarter than I am. Most people are. Then again, I kind of live in a different world than everyone else, because I've got this raging awesome ability to eclipse over the immaterial, which is anything that doesn't relate directly to me (Jennifer Lopez has children? How did I just learn this?).
And then I remembered what it's like when you're trying to impress some guy with your knowledge and opinions ("Oh, I looove Henry Miller" and "I always listen to NPR" and "Through a Glass Darkly is totally in my Netflix queue as we speak, I want to see it soooo bad, Bergman is amazing" - are you fucking kidding me? Bergman is. a. fuck., and I know that War of the Roses is next), and I feel like a total douchebagess (you know--like a shepherdess but a douchebag) because I am guilty of lame-o-ness and then I judge everyone else for doing the same thing.
"Yeah, of course, sorry. I'll bring it tomorrow. But I'm warning you, it's a stressful book."