I picked up a novel off the shelf in the
fiction section of the library and peered at the cover.
A blurb promised “a riveting read with Tolstoyan sweep and
Dostoyevskian vitality,” which made me immediately put the book back.
I approached the circulation desk to check out another book.
The librarian had a thousand-watt smile, but there was something
cheerless about her all the same, one of those weird
disconnects that always send me rummaging through my own memories
of a disconnected childhood. My rule is never to get
chatty with librarians. I’ve learned to spike any budding conversations.
Paraphrases from the novel Blow the House Down by Robert Baer.