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  • Writer's picturepgracemiles

No. 94 Seattle's Central Library: A Monologue in Progress

"You become a Baudelairean flaneur, inspecting and being seduced by a world of books and information - by the urban scenario." -- Rem Koolhaas

This morning, I wrote the first part of a monologue about Seattle’s Central Library for my play The Swing Years and Beyond. This video is my primary research source and offers an excellent tour of the nooks and crannies of this vast library. I will be there in person in a couple of weeks.

The monologue so far:

My first sight of the Seattle Central Library was a sudden unforeseen event, an instance of love at first sight. Another strike of lightning would soon follow, but few could compare to this coup de foudre.

On that crisp October day, when the library emerged, like a lyrical stack of giant glass books beckoning me, I was making the trek from my studio apartment at the YWCA in search of an afternoon cocktail. I could see Puget Sound, the volcano, and the bright blue sky reflected in every pane of this structure of pure modernity - making me feel anything in this city is possible!

In a clearing between commuter and beggar, I found an entrance with the address number 1000 over the library door. The ghost of the original structure moved through my body as I entered. Sweetly situated under my walking feet were raised letters - in I don’t know how many languages - welcoming me.

The diamond-patterned steel and glass windows flooded my vision with a blinding light. As I put on my sunglasses for protection and non – detection, I registered a cute and strange boy staring at me. His baseball cap visor nodding in my direction. This moment would be the most fateful of all lightning strikes.

Thanks for reading.

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