Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Typhoids last stand
I am back at work, coughing throatily through the library in a way that makes my co-workers eye me with a small amount of sympathy and a good deal of alarm. "I don't think I'm particularly contagious." I say. No, contagious was what I was when I worked here last week, infecting the entire County. If you're not deathly ill now I don't see how it's going to still happen. I've done everything I could already.
So the library is empty of patrons, all of them home shivering under heavy blankets. Likewise my co-workers are all sick and peeling off until, eventually, I am here alone. This big building, ticking along with a hint of post apocalyptic vacancy, only with my cough to bring it to life. The color of the library is bleached and faded in the sharp light of the cold winter sun. The book stacks are dark until one of my coarse, wet, epic coughs rolls through the library, turning the lights on, filling the world with a rattling, shambling life.
Okay, fine, I exaggerate. I am not entirely alone at the library. There are a few others here. When I was upstairs shelving there was a man who would perform a bird whistle every couple minutes. "Po twee-wee-eet?" He would whistle "Po twee-wee-eet?" I found it annoying, incredibly so, but who am I to complain, with my death rattle cough. And the sleeping guy with the feet in the bags, and the lady with the bouncing balls game obsession, and the guy who squats a private room every morning but makes all his phone calls while wandering the stacks. Yeah, they're all here. We are all here. Where else is there?