I like to sit in the park and read in the afternoons, usually in the same round gated garden because there’s more shade but today the fence has been replaced by a tall grey wall that says Authorized Persons Only where the gate used to be.
There’s no door, as far as I can tell, but I follow the wall around to the side and find a window just about eye-level with closed shutters covered in peeling white paint.
I knock on the window and the shutters open and at first I don’t see anyone but then the top halves of two heads with leaves stuck in their messy curls pop into view, staring at me with bright brown eyes.
Guten Tag! the pair of leafy-haired moppets shouts in unison but when I ask them if I can come into the garden they reply: Only if you’re Authorized!
How do I get authorized? I ask and they duck out of sight and converse in loud yet unintelligible whispers for a moment.
When they pop back up they ask: Are you an Author? If you’re an Author then you are Authorized.
What’s the difference between an author and a writer? I ask them in return.
They look at each other and then back at me and then they vanish back down and the whisper-bickering goes on so long that I take my book and retreat to another corner of the park.
The next day the wall says Writerized or Authorized Persons Only, but they still won’t let me in.
About flax-golden tales. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern.