Friday, July 20, 2007

People like us

Someone new falls into step with me as I hop off the 4:44 express in Aurora on Wednesday.

“Are you the lady I saw reading ‘Three Cups of Tea’ on the train a few weeks ago?” says a friendly-faced, blondish fellow. “I owe you a thank you.”

And that’s when it happens: The sweet rush of being swept up in the universe as it expands, enfolding you into something new yet instantly familiar.

“Yep,” says me, smiling. “How’d you like it?”

He explains that The Kite Runner by Khaled Hossieni got him interested in stories about the Middle East. Since then, he’d read quite a few books like it but had been craving more. When he saw me reading Three Cups – with the young girls in white hijabs on the cover – he found what he’d been looking for and bought it right away.

Until he mentioned Kite Runner I hadn’t really thought of the two books together and the small miracles they’ve wrought by humanizing and personalizing what goes on ‘over there’.

“Three Cups opened up a completely different perspective for me,” I say. “Was it the same for you?”

“Yes, but because I didn’t grow up here in the United States I’ve always had a slightly different perspective on what happens in the Middle East,” he explains. “I tend to get my news from different sources.”

Turns out he was born in Scotland. Turns out he grew up two miles from where Jim and I were married back in 1998. Turns out he works in the information technology business, too.

We’re walking and talking all the way to the parking lot and time goes by likethis. We exchange names and business cards and promises to re-connect over more books like Three Cups.

I tell him I just started Hosseini’s much-anticipated new book. He tells me he just finished it and it’s great.

“Over there, they’re just people like us, you know,” he says. “Greg Mortenson gets that.”

“Yep. Just working and living and loving their families,” I say.

Yep. People like us.
I am listening to: Roll To Me by Del Amitri
I am reading: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
And I am: Joyful


Dave said...

Ya know, I've been reading you for awhile now; and, I always see what you are reading. (I don't try your music either, I just stick with what your write.) I never read it. Even when you gave me a plug, I'd written it and didn't have to read it again.

I pretty much have to give some of this stuff a try, don't I?

For awhile now, I've been avoiding serious reading, other than news. Time to take a plunge. First, my own suggestion, Soul on Ice, in a recent post. Then a couple of yours.


TSS is a fantastic book-I have to say that it was a tough call between his other book, The Kite Runner..T.S.S is absolutely fabulous.
I'll be anxious to hear what you think about it as well!