July 3, 2010
Ravinia Festival Pavilion

Highland Park, IL

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Ruth Harrison, Reference Librarian

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

(FOOTSTEPS ACROSS FLOOR, STOP)

SS: What is it, Kent?

FN (TEEN): Just seems sort of quiet in the library today.

SS: Libraries are supposed to be quiet, Kent. They are an oasis in the hyper hurly-burly of today’s world.

FN (TEEN): Just seems like maybe we could use more hurly, is all. Otherwise the Library Board is going to cut back the hours again.

SS: I’ll worry about it when I come back from vacation, Kent. ---- Oh, here’s an interesting book -----He Doesn’t Like You And He Never Liked You So Get Over It Because He Already Did A Long Time Ago. ----A long title for a short book. (TO HERSELF, SOBS) Oh, Howard. Howard, Howard.

FN (TEEN): What is it, Miss Harrison?

SS: It’s nothing, Kent. A personal matter. Anyway, I’ll be fine. In an hour I’m off to The Readers Resort again for two delicious weeks by Lake Bellelettre in Reading, Pennsylvania. I’m going to be healed by books.

FN (TEEN): I thought that was pronounced Redding.

SS: No, Kent. It’s Reading. And The Readers Resort is the only vacation resort in the country that’s designed for people who love books. The tables in the dining room have little bookstands alongside your plate so you can read at dinner. The terraces are well-shaded so you never have sun in your eyes. They have books with plastic pages you can read in the swimming pool—or the shower--- By the way, did you check me in online?

FN (TEEN): I tried to but I’m afraid your flight’s been cancelled.

SS: Cancelled?!? (STING)

FN (TEEN): They can’t get you on another one until tomorrow.

SS: Oh no. That’s terrible. Tomorrow??? Kent, try again---- (GK CLEARS THROAT) Oh we have a patron----- yes? How may I help you?

GK: I’m looking for a guidebook to Reading, Pennsylvania.

SS: Oh?

GK: Yes, I’m flying out there today and I’ll be there for a couple of weeks, so I thought I should find out more about the area.

SS: Well----- I have been to Reading every summer for years ---- perhaps I could advise you-----

GK: I’m looking for a resort.

SS: Oh. Well----

GK: I just finished my book and I need to get away.

SS: Finished a book? You mean, finished reading a book?

GK: Finished writing a book.

SS: I thought you looked strangely familiar. Unless I’m terribly mistaken, you’re Milo Carson, author of romantic adventure books for mature women.

GK: Pleased to meet you.

SS: Oh Mr. Carson---I read your books the moment they come in ---- the last one ----- The Ridgeline of the Heart--- left my body throbbing for hours afterward.

GK: I’m glad you liked it.
FN (TEEN): You’re not the guy who wrote The Summit of the Wild Plateau, are you??

GK: I am.

FN (TEEN): That piece of crap? You wrote that garbage?

SS: Kent—please! I’m sorry. Kent is young.

GK: It’s okay. Not my best work, I know.

FN (TEEN): What was the deal with that girl---- Loretta-----

GK: Loretta Lorencia, yes-----

SS: Kent. Don’t be rude.

FN (TEEN): A hot girl and she and Lieutenant Lembaker are riding around Arizona on horseback and then all of a sudden, the guy bails and he’s raising ostriches in Kansas and he gets type 2 diabetes...I mean what’s up with that?

GK: I don’t remember writing that.

FN (TEEN): Somebody did. And Laretta Lorencia? Whoosh. Gone. Never explained.

GK: It was implied---sort of-----

FN (TEEN): You mean that part with the postcards in the mail slot?

GK: I don’t remember that part—

FN (TEEN): You couldn’t just tell us where she went?

SS: It’s all right, Mr. Carson. I love your work.

GK: Actually I wrote the first half of the book several years ago. And then when I resumed writing it, I probably should have re-read it, just to re-acquaint myself with the storyline--

FN (TEEN): You didn’t have an editor or anything?

GK: No I didn’t. Budget cuts.

FN (TEEN): Man. Four lost hours of my life.

SS: So are you working on something new, Mr. Carson?

GK: I am, Miss Harrison.

SS: Call me Ruth. Please.

GK: I’m at work on a book entitled The Unread Woman.

SS: Oh my.

GK: It’s about an English major who yearns for love and the men she meets are clueless brutes who have no intuition about the tidal waves of womanly feeling and then she meets one who can see beneath the modest businesslike exterior to the wild she-wolf below---

SS: Yes---- yes---- yes----- and what happens?

GK: I don’t know. I haven’t finished it.

SS: I can’t wait, Mr. Carson. I tremble just to think about it.

GK: So you’re familiar with Reading, Pennsylvania?

SS: I’m on my way this very minute. Or was until my flight was cancelled.

GK: You can come on my plane. It’s a Lear jet. Six passenger.

SS: Oh but you must have------

GK: I don’t.

SS: Oh. Well-----

GK: I guess you’re going to Lake Bellelettre.

SS: Yes. The Readers Camp.

GK: It’s directly across the lake from my summer home. A mile away.

SS: That’s a big lake.

GK: I swim that mile every day at dusk.

SS: I could be on the dock waiting for you. Holding up a torch with a green light.

GK: I’d like that very much. Usually Naomi is waiting for me.

SS: Oh. Well. How nice. You two must be very happy.

GK: She’s my Irish setter.

SS: A dog.

GK: Indeed.

SS: Well, I’m all set to go when you are. No rush.

FN (TEEN): Hey what does perineum mean?

SS: Kent, please.

FN (TEEN): Is it a bad word?

GK: Was that in The Summit Of The Plateau?

FN (TEEN): No, it’s right here in your manuscript, The Unread Woman. But what is it?

GK: It’s sort of an in between space, kid.

FN (TEEN): you mean like limbo?

GK: Don’t worry about it.

SS: I wish I had packed my swimsuit.

GK: Where you’re going, you won’t need one.

SS: You mean, swimming is forbidden?

GK: People are so absorbed in books they don’t really notice.

SS: Oh my.

FN (TEEN): You’re perspiring, Miss Harrison.

SS: I’m not perspiring, Kent. I’m glistening. To the airport, Mr. Carson!

(RISING ORGAN)

TR (ANNC): Join us again very soon when Ruth returns from her trip.

SS: It was unbelievable, Kent. I read such a wonderful book. I think I did. Or did it actually happen? I’m not sure.

TR (ANNC): That’s next time on Ruth Harrison, Reference Librarian.

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