David Ross (dyvyd) wrote,
David Ross

File under Famous Mis-cues

In the Chicago Public Library, where I spent much time on layover in my old Greyhound Bus Driver days, there is a wing devoted to foreign languages. In an alcove of this wing the stacks lead one to overlook a small courtyard atrium, open to the air, and hidden in the depths of the building from the outside world. It is roughly a space of no more than 20 ft on a side. One can see various other windows of the library, vine-covered walls, a decorative tree or two, a small fountain, and benignly, in the midst of this, the statue of a smiling Bhudda with its eyes closed. The day I discovered the courtyard it was overcast and, though no direct sun illuminated the scene, every detail was crisp and clearly visible. From one wall a door stood open, through which a janitor had entered the courtyard, placed a wooden chair, and sat, his mop leaning across his chest. He sat facing the fountain and its Bhudda, and dozed. The janitor was black, and a big fellow in painter-like work clothes, with a prominent round belly. Interior light shone through the open door, bathing the Bhudda and the janitor in a soft glow as they faced one another, eyes closed.

At first I was in a rapture of watching. Then, with acute remorse, I noted I had not brought my camera along. "A Pulitzer no one will ever see!" I lamented. The urge to share the scene with someone, somehow, overcame me and I whispered down the isle to a man just out of view of the window and the scene below-- "Psst, come here, come here, I want to show you something wonderful."

The man turned red, and raising himself up he said furiously: "Absolutely Not!" Then he rushed off in the opposite direction. That reaction was just as wonderful as the scene outside, so I sat down, closed my eyes, and smiled.
Tags: bio

  • Another Slice of Crowleycake: Engine Summer

    I have just put down John Crowley's novel Engine Summer, and want to toss out my thoughts quickly while still under the spell of the book. It may…

  • The Deepening

    Having just finished John Crowley's first published novel "The Deep," it gives me pause to reflect how the craft of his fiction has not so…

  • I Went Setting, Sechszehn

    A few days' attempt to think like W produced nothing but a total cessation of my grammar-forming machine. I beheld the void. But unfortunately I can…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.