Thursday, May 15, 2014


I don't know what happened. I was working earnestly enough at the library, getting ready to shelve some books, that's to put it formally, or looking for fun, to put it more casually, when suddenly I was struck drunk. Drunk. As in spontaneously smashed. It's a miracle. Maybe not a religious miracle, or even the kind of miracle anyone wants to go getting excited about, but it's some kind of miracle. From out of nowhere, after drinking nothing, I was well and truly drunk.

"I'm drunk!" I called out drunkenly, stumbling around the workroom, pushing my shelving cart about in an alarming manner.

"You're drunk?" A co-worker inquired, with surprise and confusion.

"I didn't drink anything" I called over my shoulder, "But I'm smashed!" Then I crashed my cart into the surprisingly closed elevator doors and was knocked senseless.

The elevator doors opened, and I'm pretty sure I got in. I don't remember the elevator ride at all, but, apparently, when the elevator doors opened upstairs I was lying flat on my back singing Mean Mr. Mustard. I do sort of remember insisting I was good. Who was up there? A librarian I think. I kept saying "I'm good. I'm good." I am rather blurry on the process by which I got myself and my cart to the genre fiction section. I'm pretty sure I left a trail of books behind me, like breadcrumbs, so I could find my way back.

At first I did not enjoy shelving at all because none of the books fit anywhere and things were spinning anytime you touched them. We have no rotating book displays at my library and so I was confused at how that was now all we seemed to have. But the good times came back to me when I realized that if I just put any book anywhere I wanted it was hilarious. Putting them backwards was hilarious, hiding them was hilarious. I planted books like little seeds in all sorts of unusual places and was unable to stop giggling.

Then, abruptly, in the same miraculous way in which I had got drunk, I sobered up. My head hurt. My mouth tasted bad. I yawned. My cart was empty and I could see several books on the shelves with their bindings facing in instead of out. I couldn't even imagine why I'd found that hilarious four minutes ago. So I set about straightening up. It took quite awhile as books were out of order and double stacked and a complete mess. But the straightening was weirdly familiar to me. I realized that this mess was almost exactly how it often was in fiction when I went up to shelve. My shelving drunk just made the fiction stacks look like they often looked. What if I wasn't the first person that this happened to. What if some of my colleagues were suddenly struck drunk as they went up to shelve too, but were too shy to say.

It would explain a lot.

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