Some people will immediately recognize the building in this picture. To others, it is only a squat structure with a mysterious interior. Anonymous. Unknown. Even I have never been inside. This picture is the closest I’ve gotten, standing on the north side of 49th Street in Hialeah.
Why didn’t I cross, walk through the doors? Why didn’t I seek shade from the outside swelter? I wasn’t in a hurry to get anywhere. I could’ve taken a midday break, gone inside and searched through the stacks of books, maybe even checked one out. It is my opinion, after all, that libraries are the greatest amenity society offers. Better than museums, parks, memorials. Better than skylines, grids, streets.
But this picture is enough. Even though it is of the John F Kennedy Library, a bastion of the printed word, this picture is enough.
My imagination justifies my complacency, however irrational it may seem.
You see, it is to this library that my mother used to walk to on Special Sundays with her siblings and father. She would get all dressed up in her white Sunday dress and walk hand-in-hand to this very spot, eager to choose her next book on loan. She was a girl.