Susan Orlean on Setting a Scene
One recent warm morning, the people in the garden were clustered under the canopy of trees, and beside the long, trickling watercourse that seemed to emit a small breath of chilled air. Rolling suitcases and totes and book bags were stashed here and there. Pigeons the color of concrete marched in a bossy staccato around the suitcases. A thin young man in a white dress shirt, a hint of sweat ringing his underarms, wobbled on one foot, gripping a file folder under his arm while trying to fish a cell phone out of his back pocket. Behind him, a woman with a sagging yellow backpack sat on the edge of a bench, leaning forward, eyes closes, hands clasped; I couldn’t tell if she was napping or praying. Near her stood a man wearing a bowler hat and a too-small t-shirt that revealed a half-moon of shiny pink belly. Two women holding clipboards herded a small, swirling group of kids toward the library’s front door. I wandered over to the corner of the garden, where two men sitting by the World Peace Bell were debating a meal they’d apparently shared. “You have to admit that garlic dressing was good,” one of the men was saying.
“I don’t eat salad.” “Oh, come on, man, everyone eats salad!” “Not me.” Pause. “I love Dr. Pepper.” __________
From “The Library Book” by Susan Orlean
#library #libraries #book #la #Ilovela #losangeles #susanorlean #writing #onwriting #read #reading #story #stories #thestorybar