Rose-Colored Glasses

#18: write an email to a favorite author

After reading I Am the Messenger on the train a few weeks back, I was feeling so sunny and inspired that I went home to write a stream of consciousness to celebrate the experience.  I wrote the excerpt below:

I board the downtown C train and settle into my book.  The happy story offers up rose-colored glasses and the rest of the ride is like a sequence from Amelie - when the accordion music is light and dreamy.

A few stops in, a massive woman with a gentle smile and swishing blue dress wends her way over and settles into the corner seat next to mine.  She spills over into my space, but her easy presence and "this doesn't bother me if it doesn't bother you" attitude makes her proximity welcome and warm.  Our sides connecting, I can feel some of her good seep over as we ride together towards Brooklyn.

The conductor is making an announcement now.  Normally, the abrasive speaker is rattling and unwelcome, but his Latin accent sculpts and softens the words.  "This train is will be running express – express, express, express," he emphasizes and lists the next five stops.  He closes his announcement with, "this is a 'C like in Chocolate' train."  I pause my reading to look up at the speaker and confirm to myself that yes, that is the phrase he just used.

 Just then, a mechanic belch of noise comes from the middle of the train and I think the conductor must be ready to woo us again.  Music picks up and I realize it is a dance routine and watch for a moment while the teenagers prepare to perform.  It takes some time, so I resume the story in front of me.  It is only when I can feel all eyes in the car on the spectacle that I turn to see the tallest of the trio breaking out in fluid bursts of energy.  His rhythm is far beyond the music eked out by their machine.  His muscles are so tight and wound up, the movements release as if popping from a pressurized can.  His final move is a swing around the subway pole, all the way up to the top of the ceiling – a mesmerizing and wow-provoking performance. 

His sister is next and while her perfunctory, jumpy routine is nowhere near the awe-inspiring movements her brother just produced, watching him watching her with gushing pride is a show just as good as his first. 

The routine ends and the subway car erupts into applause – a rarity for any performance on these trains.  More people give money than I've ever seen and someone behind me says "that guy in the middle just gave them a $20."  Well worth it, I think, as I return to my story.

If watching To Rome with Love  was a candy bar experience, reading this book is like a Pinkberry Peanut Butter Sundae – it makes the whole world seem just right.

After searching the internet for contact information, I wasn't able to find an email address for Mark Zusak, but I was able to find a post box address.  This will do just fine, because I think I have just the right package to send to this esteemed author.  At first, I thought it would be fun to send this note with some rose-colored glasses, as I refer to them in the story.  However, at the store today I didn't find rose-colored glasses, but "I-Am-the-Messenger glasses," which - really - is what I was wearing during this experience anyhow.  Brilliant.  I'll send a card, the glasses and my little narration to Mr. Zusak with thanks for his inspiration.