2011-03-12: How Doth The Little Crocodile



Date: March 12, 2011


Aurora and Harrison talk about Wonderland.

"How Doth the Little Crocodile"

East Village, NYC - Enlightenment Books

If there is such a thing as a safe place, this would be it. It's got the 'vibe;' it's got the 'feel.' While crowds of people bustle by in the East Village, hurrying to shopping, shows, and concerts enjoying the opportunity to get out and about, Aurora enjoys the time in. As in, sitting inside a shop and, of all things, reading! One of the very few sitting spots in the store is occupied by the woman, the very top of her blonde head visible over the cover of a very old copy of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland."

Jack rubs along the length of his jaw thoughtfully as he peruses book shelves of the small shop. The smell is beautiful. The sight is amazing. Still, he won't be telling his daughter where this particular gem is if only because it keeps her from knowing where a future gift or two comes from. And so, he finally comes to a decision and plucks free a book before looking around for somewhere to sit. He has some free time on his hands. The man comes to sit next to a blonde woman. There's a look to her large book: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Then there is one given to his small book: The Frog Prince. "Nice choice," is his fairly brief remark.

Oh, but it's not the only book Aurora's pulled off the shelves. Not by a long shot. The little coffee table has a stack of books about 7 high, all sizes and thicknesses. Some are tiny picture books; some are well-worn hardback copies of some classics. Among them, there's The Odyssey, Watership Down, and what seems to be one of the Lord of the Rings. "Fifteenth time I've read it, or something like that," Arurora offers to Harrison. She barely seems to peel her eyes off the book she's reading when she does so, however.

For a moment there, Jack believes that she hasn't heard him in which case he can safely go about his business. Then again, she's speaking up and he's slowly lifting his chin and adjusting his gaze into a sidelong glance once more in the woman's direction. He looks to the book she holds and then to the books near to her before noting the single book in his hand. There's only so much he can do on a mechanic's paycheck. He opens his book and begins to look over the gently yellowed pages marking its age. He asks in turn, "Fifteenth today or in-general?"

"In general. It's not that short." Behind the pages of the book, she gives a little huff of frustration, then the swish of an aged paged turning against the front of her shirt. The position she's taken on the chair makes it a bit awkward to read and talk, as she's leaned back into the crook of the arm and the back of chair, legs pulled up and sort of stuffed into the seat as well, leaving her curled up with the book very close to her face. "I could probably tell you what it says from memory."

"You never know in a city like this," replies Jack in turn as he taps an index finger idly at the corner of this particular page. With having finished speaking up he returns to casually reading and fingering through the pages. At her mentioning of memory and such though, he stops and lowers the book. He shifts in his chair and looks in her direction. "Twenty bucks says you can't." He's in a betting mood.

"What, that I can read it fifteen times in a day? Or recite most of it by memory?" Finally the book is lowered away from her face, revealing slightly pinked cheeks, a strong chin, tousled hair, and eyes that never seem to stay still - not when there's plenty of fantastical artwork strewn about the place. The book is closed down around a finger to hold her place and she shifts her mouth to the side. "Let's see…well, the Little Croc is one of my favorite bits so…" She ahems to clear her throat.

"How doth the little crocodile
improve his shiny tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!

How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly he spreads his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws!"

Jack lifts his hips up into the air just high and long enough for him to find the brown leather of his wallet. He looks into it and dishes out a single twenty. There goes a quick couple of fast food meals; but that's unhealthy anyway. "Both, by the way, but mainly the memory," he mentions with regards to the bet after she's recited one of Carroll's poems. Since he has read the story many a time to his daughter he speaks up at length. "Twinkle, twinkle, little bat - how I wonder what you're at. Up above the world you fly, like a tea tray in the sky. Twinkle, twinkle, little bat - how I wonder what you're at." With the parody recited, he holds up the twenty.

"You might as well keep it. I have enough for my rent this month." It's not from working a few extra hours, either. "Little extra even, to come down and pick up some more books. You like that story too, huh?" It'd be hard to say whether the girl who looks like she's dressed in stuff from a second-hand shop - especially the frilly knitted super 70s-looking shawl - has enough money to buy that many books and make rent because she shops second-hand, or if she's just trying to be in vogue by dressing retro. Either way, here she is. "But yeah, I don't like that one so much. Still think the one I said is better."

"Great," and without much thought into things the guy pockets the cash with ease. Jack closes his book and sets it onto his left knee, held there by that side's hand, while he turns to listening to her. "I'd hate to run into someone who isn't." It's an honest answer as far as he is concerned. "But, yeah, I know it from my kid." He doesn't talk about how it had been said kid's favorite between the ages of two and three, nor didn't know what a tea tray was at the time, but baby-steps. On whether or not hers is better, he replies with an amused, "Maybe."

"No, definitely. I know it's better. It's the one I always go to. But whatever floats your boat, really, if you like awful poems." She just gives a disinterested shrug, and hoists the book back up in front of her face. Conversation over? Maybe. At least you know she's totally not afraid of giving her opinion on a moment's notice, inflammatory though it may be.

"If you say so," is mentioned in a near sing-song tone, teasing the thought. He may be grown but he deals with his daughter every day and, well, Jack then quiets down and returns to his book in turn. If she would like to talk, then she may. Otherwise, he begins to read from the book he has plucked free from the shelves. Every few moments, he looks up and casually around the shop from one point of interest to the next. It's interesting - every time.

The atmosphere is definitely one of the draws to this particular shop. It manages to be fun and antiquey, without being dusty, dim, and oooooold. "I do say so. I just said so." That much is reiterated with some certainty. Unlike some people who are known to stick around carry out conversations with strangers, Aurora isn't really that personable; it takes away from her ability to lose herself in the stories. Escapism at its best. So, that's about the time when she starts to gather up the pile of books in her hands, cradling them against her chest, scooping up her bag over her arm, and making for the counter to pay.

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