Books take me places I thought I would never get to see, especially autobiographies. I recently read, “If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t) by Betty White. You’d think there was nothing significant about it, but when I look at it, I see way beyond the plain white background. From the start, I was hooked. It seemed as if every time I turned the page, I was running through doors. The doors would open up to another time, place, event, in her life. When it was over, I would grab the next knob and the process would continue. Through 252 pages, I could vividly picture each moment, each emotion, each breath she took.
Angela Carter once said, “Reading a book is like rewriting it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read in in your own terms.” It’s funny to think how much life parallels to reading. Through books, you can discover a whole new world or even look further into a world that you are missing out on. Every book I have ever read took me on its own adventure; however, I was really leading the journey myself.
Adventures are beyond literacy. My life is also full of exciting adventures, especially with family. Every time my cousin Charlie and I spend time together, we always have fun. It all started out like any other rainy Saturday. After greeting each other and spending twenty-minutes driving to the mall, we stepped into the shallow puddles of once upon a time rain. As excited, as I was to see him, I could not help but wonder how fun this empty uninteresting mall would be. Once we walked through the door, we had unspoken agreement to head to the comic book store. After revealing our inner nerds, we head down to the FYE.One of the escalators was broken and we could not stop hysterically laughing as our imaginations ran wild about why it was in that condition. Comic books are not the only thing we obsess over; there is always music and movies. Like kids in a candy store, we ran around yelling movie titles and artists to each other. Nothing compares to when we scrolled through posters, making comments on each one. The best part was the fact that we were the only ones who understood our jokes; everyone stared. We honestly did not care.
The mini adventure in that store ended after Charlie bought our favorite strawberry candies. The mall looked evacuated, like a natural disaster pushed everyone away. Together, we began to move down the row of stores looking for something interesting. Since the building was silent with the lack of people, I could here the roaring thunder; it echoed throughout the bare, plain, white walls. Pressing on down the glimmering tiny tiles, I could hear little pitter-patters. It seemed as if the rain was falling right next to my ears. I started to glance up at the skylights taking note of the splattering tears of a storm and the electrifying light, which shined throughout the second floor.
I have seen plenty of thunderstorms before, but none like this. It was as if the lighting was coming right for us and the dark, mysterious clouds were only intimidating this mall. It would take much more to scare me, so we kept walking, chatting, and laughing. The next thing we came across was the Halloween store. All we did was turn in silence towards each other and say in sync, “I cannot wait till Halloween!” While we went into detail about my Halloween costume, we came across the bookstore. I recently read Betty White’s book and decided to pick up another autobiography. I searched past different musicians, politicians, and celebrities to come across, “From This Moment On” by Shania Twain. As soon as I looked at the picture of the brunette country legend, I remembered when I grabbed my hairbrush and sang her songs on the glass coffee table for my “audience.”
With that purchase, we ate and strolled through the mall. Traditionally, we always sit for hours talking about everything. We are not ones to break a routine; we grabbed a bench and relaxed. As we talked about personal issues, feelings, and secrets, I began to imagine this bench turning into a bubble of trust that only we knew the entrance to. This bubble was unbreakable with a million protective shells containing our deepest conversations. While we were getting wrapped up in each other's lives, we almost did not notice the puddles beginning to submerge through the roof in spots around the entire mall. We almost did not even realize the fact that half the building was pitch black and the room seemed emptier then before. Apparently the power went out and the only reason we could see was the lightning peaking in and emergency lights. A dimmer environment did not take us out of our zone. We spent too much time apart and there was only this small opportunity to finally catch up. So even though it started out as a regular rainy Saturday, it turned into a memorable and eventful day that I will cherish forever.
Through that mall experience, I learned more about the bond Charlie and I had. I never took the time to notice how alike we are. We love the same shows, movies, food, and music. Of course, family isn’t the only way to experience life or discover new things. Friends have a way of opening your mind to whole new experiences, leading to tons of new adventures.
It was a Saturday morning and as planned, Karly and I were heading off to the Arden Theatre in Old City. After hours of becoming someone new and immersing in imagination and creativity, we opened the big wooden, glass doors. The exposed sunshine was warm on my face, which added to my happiness. At this point it was about eleven in the morning and Karly and I had an hour to kill. Instead of waiting around forever on the cement steps, we went looking for adventure. And of course, food.
Across the street, I spotted a comic book store; my stomach could wait. Faster then a cheetah, I ran across the street as if I was playing Frogger. I was greeted with a life size Spiderman welcoming me to this new land. Each wall was covered from top to bottom with colorful covers and victorious heroes of all shapes and sizes. There were so many characters throughout the store; they all screamed, “Pick me!” I just wanted to run up and down every isle and scroll through everyone of them. While looking for the perfect one, each one tended to take me on a different kind of adventure.
After being scooted out of the store, we came to Second Street and looked from left to right. Where to go, where to go… From the corner of my right eye I could see Soho Pizza. After pointing it out to Karly, she remembered being there before. We crossed the street on a search for a great slice of pizza. When you walk through the narrow passageway, you can see the small, yet warm environment. My nostrils filed with the smell of pizza sauce and freshly kneaded dough.While admiring the autumn colors and empty tables, I almost didn’t hear the male behind the counter. “What can I get you?” he asked, looking confused at the fact that I was staring into space. After finally coming back to reality, Karly and I sat and ate. I couldn’t help but notice that the guy behind the counter continued to make excuses to come over to our table; as if he wanted to start a conversation but couldn’t. Let’s just say we made a new friend that day. Together we realized that this would be a regular Saturday routine for us; every week, we’d look forward to the weekend.
It is important for me to remember these times when I sat down with a good book and when I enjoyed the company of others because without these individual mini-scenes of my life, I would not be where I am now. Adventure has really shaped my love for new things such as: language, cultures, places, food, etc. It has also taught me to keep an open mind. For these reasons, I will continue to encourage others to take the time to stop thinking and planning every moment because sometimes while in the midst of all the stress you miss out on a lot. Every day is a new opportunity to learn and get everything out of life.