This premier entry is to serve both as a point of venting a repeating frustration as well as to give a brief biographical glimpse into the life of the author. Before delving into the subject matter I will swiftly elucidate on the latter. I am, quite certainly, an introverted individual who finds pleasure in the isolated realm of my bedroom. But, as those who are actually educated on the nature of introverts would already know, this is not my sole source of enjoyment; the company of others can be rewarding in measured doses of quality time.
With that being established, I can begin to rant mildly on the alarmingly annoying event of being interrupted while reading a book, magazine, essay, what have you. Having spent the last four years at a university, I was often surrounded by multitudes of individuals. There were a few peaceful and beautiful places on the campus that I would thoroughly look forward to sitting down at and indulging in the latest book I had in my possession. The downfall was that these places, being aesthetic hotspots, were also places where my fellow students would readily have access to. Thus, whenever I rested beneath the cooling shade of the artifice called the “Bell Tower” (though there were no actual bells in it, merely audio speakers), I ran the risk of being confronted by a curious classmate who half recognized me from some class and saw this as the prime opportunity to sloppily exhibit the academy’s cornerstone of “Community” by inquiring into what I was reading.
Now, when I see someone whom I do or do not vaguely recognize from my Intro to Neuroscience (or insert any other class here) class diving face first into a book I think, “Gee, there’s a guy/gal really enjoying a book. ,” and I walk on anticipating a possible discussion with them in the future when neither party is already occupied with a prior task, or I simply carry on enjoying my life having never interacted with said individual.
I can only imagine that this girl who vaguely recognized me from my Senior Seminar class must have had an abysmal thought process as follows, “There’s a guy who really seems to be enjoying that book. I’ve got nothing better to do now, might as well go blerch out my passing interest in what he is reading. Who care’s if I’ll forget the conversation two seconds upon its completion, my insecure need for interaction is building and this person who is relishing the shade of the Bell-Tower-That-Plays-Hymns-At-Noon is a perfect target. Blerch.”
Real quick, I have two points to make about this situation. I purposely sit in the back of classes to avoid becoming sucked into the black hole that is small talk with a bunch of people with minds stuffed with fluffy Jesus thoughts and Kaleo candy (did I mention I somehow wound up at a “Christian” institution. Might as well just name it at this point, Azusa Pacific University, the paragon of fluffy Jesus thoughts). Now, apparently, my efforts at avoiding interaction with most people is seen by others as an invitation for them to spread their buttery chatter over my face. A poor misinterpretation on their part.
Secondly, I do not always despise being interrupted while reading. A brief list of exceptions which will not incite me to a blind (albeit quiet) rage me are as follows. First, if there is an event occurring, the likes of which were I to miss would somehow leave my life less fulfilled, and someone interrupts me by announcing it I may be initially irked but quickly placated depending on the situation (e.g. Advent of zombie apocalypse, free absinthe down the street, topless carwash. You know, the usual things). Also, were it to be either a close friend of mine or even a complete stranger, so long as the ensuing conversation was of merit I would also allow the embers of my vexation to wane. That is, the other party and myself would both have to be genuinely interested in what was being discussed (e.g. life event, the book, new developments in quantum physics) and one or both parties must part ways having been enriched with new information.
See? I can be reasonable if interrupted for the right reasons. But, if you dare ask me the question, “What are you reading?” without any intent other than to comfort your disparaging mind with the psychosocial junk food that is small talk, then I will be forced to choke back the answer I always wish to splurge all over your face, “Well, I’m not reading anything now that you’re forcing me to respond to you, you cunt.”
I might have issues.
But, I hold back my irrationally aggressive response and offer a smile as I respond, “It’s called ’120 Days of Sodom’ by the Marquis de Sade,” sinisterly waiting for her to ask, “Oh, what’s it about?”
And I smile with the knowledge that her fluffy Jesus thoughts are in for a panic attack as I respond, “Well it’s nearly five hundred pages of four guys butt-fucking and farting on everything in sight: boys, girls, women, each other…among other vivid descriptions of complete libertinage.”
I’ll actually be reading a collection of short stories by China Mieville (one of the perks of using a Nook from time to time). But it’s not nearly as enticing to explain that to her, and she’ll never know the truth (although, I did read 120 Days). Let her dreams instead be plagued of being fondled by Durcet or the Duc. It might be a bit harsh, but I doubt I will ever be interrupted by her whilst reading again. Unless she is secretly a sodomite, then I guess Karma would be quite a bitch.
All this to say, I truly and veritably do not like to be interrupted while reading. Just a personal dogma.