Unsolitary reading

In her TED talk about introversion Susan Cain speaks of reading being a communal activity in her family. I can understand something of that. I am often not alone when I read, and I do not mind it. More often than not though, I am the only person in the room reading.   It is comforting, less lonely, to have others in the room, even if you don’t necessarily want to have a conversation.  For an introvert (my family consists of introverts) conversations can be draining. Alone time is vital. Just being busy with your own thing (more often than not, being immersed in a book) seems to give a sense of togetherness without the drain of full social interaction. I know of some people that cannot handle ambient noise at all, which you cannot escape if you are not alone, but it is, perhaps, exactly this ambient noise and other subtle indications of the other  person or persons’ presence that allows you to feel you’re not alone. In any case, I wrote the following poem (and this blog post) while my brother was doing his own thing on his computer

Just let me sit here and read
next to you
i don’t want to talk
i just want the sound of your fingers on the keys
the groan of your chair
the flow of air as you breathe
i just want your presence
when i laugh, exclaim
you don’t need to ask why
i don’t want you to ask
i just want you to hear
to glance at me, with a smile
or a grimace
to interrupt whatever you’re busy with for just a moment
and then to carry on
and leave me to my book

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