Reading & Crying

Recently, my old friend, Jill, recommended a book for me to read. She said it would make me “think, laugh, and cry.” I have not had a chance to read that book yet, but her recommendation made me think about another book and a funny story about reading & crying in public.

Some background…

When I was a teenager, there was one book, Charly by Jack Weyland, which I read over and over again. It was a very quick read. I loved this book and would read it whenever I felt a little down and needed a good cry. It has a very sad ending.

Fast forward to 2006…

When I was living in New York, I was working closely with one of the senior missionaries, Sister Scott. She told me that Jack Weyland and his wife were coming to NYC to serve a mission. I was SO excited!! I bought a new copy of Charly—hoping that I would have the opportunity to meet him and get a signed copy of this cherished book.

Jeff and I were taking a trip somewhere. I can’t remember where, but I know we were flying out of JFK. We were getting comfortable in our seats, and I pulled out this book to read during our flight. I had forgotten how funny the bulk of the book was; I had only remembered the sad ending. I was really getting into it when we were de-boarded because of a mechanical (I think) problem with the plane.

We were told to wait in the gate area. So, I continued reading my book—laughing quietly to myself.

Like I said, it was a quick read. Before I knew it, I was at the last chapter. This is where it gets really sad. Even though, I’d read the book many, many times before, and I totally knew what was coming, the tears still began to fall as soon as I turned the page to that final chapter.

It’s a lot more difficult for me to cry quietly to myself, because my eyes get all red and puffy, and my face gets a little blotchy. It’s pretty obvious to onlookers that I’m crying—even if I’m not making a lot of noise.

As I’m reading, Jeff leaned over to me and asked me if I was almost finished.

When I asked him why, he told me that there was a little girl that was just staring at us. Maybe she had never been as engaged in a book as I currently was, but the situation as she saw it was:

Here is a woman who is very clearly in tears because our flight was delayed and maybe there was something going on between her and her husband because she is trying to hide her tears behind that book.

Of course, I don’t know exactly what this girl was thinking, but I do know that she kept staring. She also whispered something to her mother and pointed in our direction.

Maybe next time I ought to read Charly in the comfort of my own home.

I never did end up meeting Jack Weyland, but I did get my copy of Charly signed. Now the book has become even more special to me.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read it in years either. I'll have to pull out my copy (in the privacy of my home) and read it again.


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