Textual Immersion on the Way Home

I observe myself watching him read a page of text. I wish I knew what he was reading. It doesn’t matter since I can read his mind. Then I realize where he is, which helps to explain the mental turbulence that seems to take over his thoughts as he reads particular sentences. The word fragmentation comes to mind. Whatever the book is, it’s difficult reading, and I know from personal experience that reading on the bus can cause confusion and anxiety. What city, which country, is he in? Wherever he is, I imagine that he’s seeking answers to unanswerable questions in a text that welcomes limitless interpretations. The bus keeps moving. Mental moments pass, in both of our minds, as the bus nears its next stop. His workday has just ended. This must be his time to unwind. Another possibility emerges: maybe he’s not interested in relaxing; maybe this is his time to immerse himself in words, images, and ideas that the text presents him, sentence by sentence. He might be afraid of where his mind will be when he reaches home. Or maybe his mind isn’t creating confusion. Maybe the confusion involves more than the mind. Maybe I’m observing him read a sacred text. If only the words on the page would reveal themselves to me, maybe my own mind would no longer feel fragmented. Fortunately, since I can read his mind, I know that the bus will soon reach his stop. Then we can both go home.

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