Thursday, July 12, 2007

So Close and Yet So Far

I am expecting something and I am so excited I can hardly contain myself. After years of waiting and hoping and longing for this day to come it is FINALLY happening! That's right! Today I pre-ordered my very own copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! (Had you going there for a second, huh Mom?) This is a purchase I have been eagerly, nay anxiously awaiting for quite some time now. This is even bigger than when I finally got my IPod (which I still maintain is a psychological aid and should really be covered by insurance).

When I went into the bookstore today, my friend (because when you spend excessive amounts of time in bookstores? You make friends with the employees) rang up my purchase, put my name down in the Official Harry Potter Pre-Order Spiral Notebook and then leaned across the desk and whispered, "Guess what came in yesterday?"

"What?" She looked around carefully then, once she was certain the coast was clear, beckoned me to the doorway of "The Back Room." You know. The Back Room. That mystical place where I suspect they always keep the best stuff, like, say the last pair of cute shoes in my size. They do this, of course, just for the sheer glee of watching customers search vainly for things that the Powers That Be have hidden away, to be sold to those who prove themselves worthy of the right to purchase them only after demonstrating persistence above and beyond what is reasonable or normal. And this proved true again today as she pointed to a large box that had been covered with more packing tape than I have ever seen on any item not packaged by my father, Lord of the Un-Openable Packages.

We stood together, gazing at the box with reverence.

"Is that what I think it is?" I breathed. She nodded.

"Yes. Isn't it something?"

"Wow. Could I...just...maybe...touch it?"

"Hmmm. I don't know. I'm kind of pushing it just letting you see it."

"Please? You don't know what this would mean to me. It would give me hope to sustain me through the week ahead." She paused, contemplating the tortuous days to come. Then she nodded.

"Well...okay, but be quick about it."

And I was. As quick as one could be when touching what, in some opinions (including mine) could be considered almost a holy relic. I reached out a hand and carefully brushed the top of the box, then the sides, imagining the stacks of perfect, new, smooth pages with the final words of Harry Potter's tale printed on them in wonderfully inky smelling print. Is Snape really good or evil? (My money's on "good") Can Draco be redeemed? Who will die? (Not Harry. Please not Harry. Please don't let it be Harry. Or Ron. Probably Hagrid though.) Is Dumbledore really dead? Where does Dumbledore's brother fit into all of this and is R.A.B. Regulus Black? (Well, yeah, obviously.) These and all my other theories are this close to being answered.

And I was RIGHT THERE. It would have been so easy, in theory at least, to just rip that box open, grab a book and start reading. I wondered how far I could get before store security reached me, and if I would be allowed to keep the book with me while we waited for the police. You know. For evidence.

I was so close. There was only one thing that stopped me: We have tickets to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix this weekend, and I was uncertain if I would be out of jail by then. Especially since all my discretionary income for the week has been used on book orders and movie tickets. Not much left for bail. Hmmm.

And so, I tore myself away and my friend and I walked back into the main store.

But next Saturday at 12:01 a.m.? I'll be back and this time there will be no stopping me.

Nine days. This is worse than waiting for Christmas.

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