Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Man in the Library

A man cleans the books he might never be able to read himself. He is meticulous in his efforts, taking care to pull out each of the hard bound volumes one by one from the shelf, cleaning them with a soft cloth, and then gently pushing them back into place. Does he abuse his blatant inadequacy? Or does he revere the wisdom he has been unfortunate enough to forfeit?

The supervisor whispers some instructions in his ear and moves on. He makes sure they are not ignored and goes back to what he was doing. He is sitting cross-legged on the floor, oblivious to my constant oblique glances, and my preoccupation with him. The knowledge and wisdom he polishes so dutifully benefits people like me, who try to gauge his thoughts, and write them down; so that eventually one more volume may be added to the shelf he has moved on to.

If life wasn't meant to be ironic, he wonders, then what was?


  1. The bubble's getting bigger and bigger. I wonder when it'll burst.

  2. nice simple thought.. very effectively subtly written