An Opening Scene?
A man visits an acquaintance’s home for the first time. Maybe he is just dropping by to pick something up from a co-worker or maybe it would be more interesting if he is waiting while his date gets ready in the next room. Whatever the circumstances, he looks around the room for awhile . . . curious but trying not to be nosy. Maybe he sits on the couch for awhile and leafs through a magazine. Or maybe he fusses with a house plant. Inevitably, he begins browsing through the collection of books that are stuffed into an old, particle board bookcase in the corner of the room. At first, he is impressed by the titles. He has many of the same books in his own collection. He is surprised to find that one of the books (by a recently deceased author) is autographed — just like his own copy. He looks more closely at the books and realizes that he has all of the same titles in his collection at home and that they are arranged in the same order. Even the editions of each book are identical to his own. The same Penguin Classics, the same Norton Critical editions, the same hardbacks, the same paperbacks. He opens a copy of one of his favorite books and finds that the same passages are underlined in the same way — lightly, with a soft pencil.