Ruth Harrison, Reference Librarian
Saturday, November 29, 2008

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(THEME)

TR (ANNC): And now, from the hushed reading room of the Herndon County Library, it's Ruth Harrison, Reference Librarian.

(STAMPING)

SS: I am so excited, Kent. Just ten more minutes and we close and I'm headed to Ohio. (STAMPS)

FN (TEEN): Gosh Miss Harrison. What's in Ohio?

SS: The best libraries in the United States, that's all. (STAMPS) Thank you, sir. Enjoy your book.

TR (BUSH): I will. Got one called "The Brush is Gone, and Now What?"

SS: Glad we could help. The door is over there.

(FOOTSTEPS, DOOR OPENS, CLOSES)

FN (TEEN):Gosh, the best libraries in the country are in Ohio???

SS: The Columbus Metropolitan Library. The Cuyahoga County Library. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. Names known to every librarian in America.

FN (TEEN): Gosh, neat. So what you going out there for, Miss Harrison?

SS: Inspiration, Kent. I want to spend an entire week simply loitering in libraries and pondering and perusing.

FN (TEEN):Gosh, that sounds like fun Miss Harrison.

SS: And when I return I want to build a new wing with soft couches where people can recline and read. Dim lighting and mysterious objects that people can touch--

FN (TEEN):That could be dangerous, Miss Harrison—

SS: People think of libraries as austere places. I look on reading as a sensuous pleasure—

(FOOTSTEPS)

GK: I'm sorry, did somebody say sensuous pleasure?

(SS GASP)

SS: Why- you look very familiar sir. Oh my gosh you're Carson O'Connor, the mystery writer's mystery writer.

GK: The very one. Pleased to meet you.

SS: My goodness. (HEARTBEAT) We are honored. Kent, can you — oh, he's gone.

GK: Wow— your dress. Just then. I've never seen — it just has a sort of aura in this late afternoon light.

SS: This old navy-blue knit thing-you know I was going to de-pill it this morning--

GK: That's not what I call navy blue. In this light, it looks more indigo. Or lapis. Or cerulean blue.

SS (TO HERSELF): Now I wish I'd worn heels instead my beige comfort loafers—

GK: It really brings out your eyes, Miss Harrison.

SS: (GASP) You know my name!

GK: It's on your nametag.

SS: Oh— my nametag. Pinned to my bosom.

GK: Stand right there. Don't move. I need to take a few notes.

SS: Oh be still my beating heart.

GK: Lissome. Angular. Lithe. Nubile.

SS: Nubile??

GK: Don't move. Please.

SS: I'm feeling faint for some reason.

GK: I'm going to put you in my new novel, Miss Harrison. Except your name will be Herrera. Raquel Herrera. You'll be a tango queen and the star of the tango craze sweeping the Ohio river valley.

SS: Did you say Ohio!

GK: Yes, my new novel is set there. It's called "The Theft of the Sacred Thesaurus" —

SS: I'm dreaming.....

GK: And it's set in a library. Except for the tango parts of course. They have wonderful libraries in Ohio. Maybe you've heard.

SS: Me. A late- middle-aged reference librarian with no makeup on whatsoever — nubile.

GK: There's just something about you. A sort of noble vulnerability.

SS (UNDER): Noble vulnerability. (HEARTBEAT) How did he know? It's like he can see straight into the beating chambers of my heart.

GK: I've been observing you for the past hour, from over there in the shadows. Getting a feeling for your rhythms-the way you talk, what you think about—

SS: What I think about— if only you knew—

GK: You're a tango dancer. You try to bring the beauty of the dance to people who love to eat sausage with cheese and chili.

SS: It's me. It's the story of my life.

(DOOR OPENS, FOOTSTEPS APPROACH)

TR (BUSH): I'm back. Say you don't have a bookmark, do you?

SS: Right there on the counter, sir.

TR (BUSH): Good. Sometimes I get lost. Need a reminder.

SS: There you go sir, take two.

TR (BUSH): Thanks. I'm going now. (FOOTSTEPS OFF, DOOR OPENS, CLOSES, A BEAT)

GK: I'd love to have dinner with you. Except I see your roller bag. You must be about to leave on a journey.

SS: I've been on a journey for a long time, Mr. O'Connor.

GK: I have a plane at the airport, we could fly to Ohio together. Get adjoining hotel rooms, have dinner, a glass of wine, we could talk about books. You and me.

SS: Why—this is so sudden—

(DOOR OPENS, FOOTSTEPS APPROACH)

TR (BUSH): Um. I just realized I never paid for these books.

SS: Sir.

TR (BUSH): Stole 'em right outta here like some kind of bandit.

SS: Sir, this is a library. You don't buy the books. You borrow them.

(A BEAT)

TR (BUSH): I don't get it. So you're saying these are free?

SS: Not exactly, but just hold on a moment, Mr. O'Connor— oh — where'd he go?

TR (BUSH): I think he left.

GK: I'm right here. I just bent down to tie my shoe.

TR (BUSH): Oops. Mistakes were made.

GK: So what do you say, Ruth. Fly to the romantic metropolis of Cincinnati with me. Walk on the pedestrian suspension bridge in the moonlight.

SS: Oh Mr. O'Connor-

(FOOTSTEPS)

FN (TEEN): Your cab's here, Miss Harrison. What should I tell him?

SS: Tell him to go away, Kent. I already have a ride. The one I've been waiting for half my life (SIGH).

(THEME)

TR (ANNC): Join us again next time as we bring you into the hushed reading room of the Herndon County Library for the adventures of Ruth Harrison, Reference Librarian.

(THEME OUT)

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