Saturday, May 7, 2011

Curious Readers Can’t Help But Peek At This

They talked baseball while Bensen popped pills between spoonfuls of oatmeal, talked about wives and kids—Bensen’s, Grant had neither—and co-workers, and a little about women because married men like to probe into the lives of the single to see what they were missing, to remember what they gave up. 
Then, later:
“We gotta find this guy,” Grant said. “Contact his family, see if they know where he is or what he’s up to. Find out who his dentist is, or was. Talk to his high school and college friends. Talk to his teachers.”
Grant’s phone rang as Jackson left: a secretary from the Environmental Defense Fund. The EDF had no record of anyone getting kicked out of their group for being a nut.
Grant wasn’t surprised, but who he really wanted to hear from was Tom Richardson.
“What else you doing now?” he asked Bensen.
“I’m gonna talk to you about Amber,” Bensen said, throwing his feet on the corner of Grant’s desk. “I saw you two making eyes yesterday, and she stayed in the room after everyone else left. D’you hook up?”
“We had a couple of drinks.”
Bensen grinned and nodded. “Good for you. You don’t go out enough. What’s she look like naked?”
“I have no idea. Besides, you’re married. You don’t really wanna know.”
“Come on man. I can’t have single sex anymore, I gotta live it through guys like you.”
“You’re not gonna live it through me. Now get outta here before I call Linda.”
And finally:
Amber called and invited Grant to dinner, so he left Bensen’s house in the bottom of the eighth; the Giants were hopelessly behind. Bensen bitched at him for taking off early, but gave him an elbow at the door and said, “Details man. I want details tomorrow.”

You might say Bensen was being a bit of a voyeur, might you not? Trying to peek into Grant’s love life like that. Good thing Grant isn’t the kiss-and-tell type. He gives Bensen nothing throughout the entire text of THE MIGHTY T. You know Bensen’s dying to know, too. If you read my last post, you know Amber’s hot.

People read fiction for many reasons, mostly for entertainment. Who doesn’t like to slip out of their skin for a few hours to live another’s life? We may be bored or curious, or just looking for an adventure, for a fun ride.

What I’m talking about is, we readers are a little snoopy. Like Ralph Bensen, we like to know a little about our friends’ personal lives. Unlike Bensen, we do our snooping by reading books instead of making pests of ourselves.

A novel can take you somewhere you’d get arrested for being caught at in real life. And I like that.


* Disclaimer: This post was typed on an old Acer notebook computer with a busted “V” key. Any typos inoling a “V” are the fault of the keyboard and are not mine.