Saturday, May 22, 2010

parrot, curiosity, lazy

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A close up of parrot tulip petals explains the name.

Sitting on a terrace, I watch a man with a pint of beer in front of him take a book from a plastic bag. He puts the book in front of him and takes a sip of beer. He picks up the book and reads the back cover. He opens the book from the front and reads the text opposite the fly leaf. It is a paper back. I suspect that it is a Penguin Classic. There is a picture on the front cover. But the title? I can't quite read it. He turns to the first page. It is yellow with with age. I strain my eyes and try again to learn the title of the book, but he reads on ignorant of my curiosity. It is a condition from which I suffer, to know what people are reading. I still don't know and now will never know what the man is reading. I see him now reading peacefully, sipping his beer. I have to be content with this picture, and suddenly I think that I am.

In The Grove, I pass a woman who is sitting at the top of a gentle slope. As I approach, an energetic Jack Russell brings her a ball and drops it beside her hand. Without looking up from her book, she picks up the ball and throws it as far as she can, which, because of her almost prone postion, is not very far. The dog pursues the ball with an energy and address which her slap-happy throw does not deserve. Back comes the dog and the process is repeated.


CC said...

Lovely photo.

Lucy said...

Dogs too take what they can get, though I think a long run, like satisfied curiosity, may be really more enjoyable for them.

That really is a gorgeous photo, deserves to be a card...

Roderick Robinson said...

Don't imagine that you suffer alone. I have been known to engage in all kinds of stratagems to identify a book title under such circumstances. There's a circularity about such a quest. Once the book title is revealed I tend to believe I know something definitive about the reader. And it's then only a short step towards believing I know all there is to know about him/her. That's why "120 Days of Sodom", when read on tubes, should always preserve its modesty with a brown paper wrapper. (Note: I always thought it was "nights" not "days". Why?)

Unknown said...

CC and L: Macro often is surprisingly rewarding, isn't it?
Yes, some dogs have to put up with a lot. Not Molly, I guess.

BB: I'm glad I'm not alone. I once found myself sitting next to an American in Venice. He was reading the same book, on the Patrick O'Brien novels, as I, but was on a different page.

It might be an interesting game to consider which books you would hide the cover of when reading in public.

marja-leena said...

I love the photo as well, and I'm a sucker for macros.

I rather think that the brown wrapper on a book signals that there's something the holder is wishing to hide :-)

The Crow said...

Breathtaking photo, Plutarch! The light!