12th June 2021
LA bookstore. Google Images
Part Seven. Los Angeles. July 1995
Eric Schwarz walked into a book store in Los Angeles and headed for the Philosophy section. He clapped his hands and opened them wide, as if to embrace the whole subject, from Aristotle to Zeno (from either Citium or Elea; at this stage he wasn’t able to differentiate between them.)
He looked sternly at the titles, some jumping out, some incomprehensible. Then he ran a finger along the book spines, loving how they felt and smelt. He picked out some editions, read their backs, flicked through them, checked the prices, put them back. Then he came to a collection of Plato, including ‘The Republic’ and ‘Symposium.’
Eric put a hand through his carefully arranged hair and stroked his goatee as he tried a random page. He laughed as he read about Aristophanes having first hiccups, then a sneezing fit.
He decided to buy the book and pulled his wallet out of his oversized shorts, then, at the till, stretched to show the cashier girl his physique and biceps through his tight T-shirt, indicating that though he may read Philosophy, he also had a hot body.
Of course, she didn’t notice, but vacantly rang up the book and announced the price in a bored monotone. Eric tried some repartee and made some expressions like an extra overplaying his role. The same lack of success.
As compensation, Eric treated himself to an oversized ice cream cone with several unharmonious flavours juxtaposed in one gooey multicoloured mess.
What did it matter ? Women here were too superficial. In only a week or so he’d be on the East Coast. Intellectual women. Women in glasses. Hot intellectual women (in glasses) walking around reading Schopenhauer.
This thought cheered him so much, he didn’t even care about the splat of ice cream that was melting into his T-shirt.