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Lift November 28, 2011

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

When she was sixteen, Stella began to steal. Specifically, she lifted magazines from waiting rooms.

It began innocently enough. She was waiting to have her teeth cleaned, and her name was called before she had finished an article in Vogue, an article that had somehow hooked her. Something about some celebrity, she supposed. Or perhaps she had simply wanted to continue leafing through the glossy pages of beautiful people. Whatever the motivation, she rolled up the thick issue, slipped it into her oversized bag, and took it home.

After this, she couldn’t enter a waiting room without pilfering a periodical.

She lifted magazines from doctors, veterinarians, chiropractors, and acupuncturists. She lifted them from hair stylists, manicurists, mechanics, and psychotherapists. Sometimes she wasn’t even waiting for her own appointment. Sometimes she was waiting for a friend.

She kept every issue she ever stole. Over the years, she amassed a great collection. In her young adulthood, she filled a great white wall-sized bookcase with her finds: the New Yorker, Harper’s, Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, People, Real Simple, Runner’s World, InStyle, GQ, Yoga Journal, Seventeen, Esquire. Also Good Housekeeping, Fly Fisherman, Cook’s Illustrated, Sports Illustrated, Food & Wine, Country Living, Condé Nast Traveler, Architectural Digest, National Geographic, Entertainment Weekly, Outdoor Photographer, American Artist. Her interests were varied and vast. Or, possibly, indiscriminate.

She placed the magazines on the bookshelf chronologically by date. Most still sported their original mailing label. In this way, she could often keep track of where she had bagged the trophy.

Some friends told Stella that what she was doing wasn’t stealing—that it’s expected that waiting-room magazines will disappear into client or patient hands. Stella, who loved the thrill, chose not to believe this.

She may have them bound for posterity. She believes she is sitting on cultural gold.


1. Mali - November 28, 2011

I’m smiling, because I read this this morning. Clearly, the waiting rooms Stella frequents have a better quality magazine than those I visit.

indigo bunting - November 28, 2011

Are you reading November 2010 by the day? I have been (only some of the writers…you in particular). This is my cheat for November 2011. When will I write another blog post?

Mali - November 28, 2011

Yes, I’ve been reading … when I can remember! And I was thinking of cheating too.

2. Helen - November 28, 2011

What’s all this about November 2010?

Stella sounds like she’d be fun to hang out with, even though she would no doubt be a bad influence in terms of waiting room etiquette.

indigo bunting - November 28, 2011

Helen, it was a little (daily) writing project Mali and I were involved in last year. 200–300 words/day for the month.

You may be right about Stella on both counts.

3. Helen - November 29, 2011

Oh, like a nanowrimo for the pragmatic?

indigo bunting - November 29, 2011

Indeed, I believe that’s how Mali felt about it. http://chapbookpublisher.com/November-2010.html

Jenny - November 30, 2011

Today I’m going to read them again. It’s been awhile. Reading November during November makes sense. I have a few hours left!

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