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I’m a fool for words. I am having a love affair with written words. It’s not news to anyone who knows me, and it’s certainly nothing curable. A well written phrase gently massages my ear, rushing straight into my heart. This causes that anxious and twitter-pated feeling some get when the leading team gets an advance, the gas pedal in the dream car reaches 100, or a first-born child takes his first steps.

Words, yes, words, do this to me.

Walking through a book store or library completely overwhelms me. It’s more than the “kid in a candy shop” idea, it’s as though I’m about to take a hit on my addiction. Fortunately for me, an addiction to words shouldn’t be as self-destructive as my addiction to control everything in (and sometimes out) of my power. I digress.

A book store or library starts with an impulsive decision. I just said I’m a control freak, however, knowing the outcome of me after a word-love episode leaves me no option but to simply ignore myself saying, “Self, you will drive past the library without going in.” Or, “Self, you will park at the other end of the shopping center, away from Barnes and Noble.” Disobey I must.

I push on the wooden door handle, setting off a bell when it hits the door, announcing my entrance. Closing my eyes for a moment, I inhale the musty scent of all of the pages and pages of words. I’m much like a recently divorced woman walking up to the men’s cologne counter at Nordstrom, inhaling the intoxicating smell of a man she no longer has.

Opening one eye at a time, I urge myself to step forward, browsing the signage of the store. It’s about at this point where I tell the braided bookie behind the counter that “No, I don’t need help. I insist. In fact, I’d rather be left alone to love on the pages, before someone figures out the discreet little word affair I was born with.”

I’m not partial to one subject matter over another. I’m an equal opportunity lover of words, if you will, except for “Automotive” and “World Politics”.  Automotive words stink, and are oily. World Politic words are ugly, and very very rude. Sure, they offer to pay for dinner on a date, but they don’t seem very genuine. Or trustworthy.

When I find a book that catches my eye, I’ll run my finger over the spine, over the cover, over the title. I don’t necessarily judge a book by its cover, but I judge it by a few words, how catchy the title is, or the dialogue in a randomly selected chapter. I hustle many words and I don’t have patience for wasted time.

Holding the book, feeling its weight in my hands, its crisp and bright pages under my fingertips… The excitement hidden in the ink. I lick my lips in anticipation of taking the book home with me.

I feel someone’s eyes on me. I am once again interrupted by a fellow word nerd casually mulling about my favorite aisle. I quickly shut the book with a “snap” and give the evil eye, shoving it back onto the shelf. I was having a moment with those words, and I don’t appreciate it being interrupted.

The bell dings as the door closes behind me.

I am a fool for words.

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