Monday, March 6, 2017
The royal vestments
A few days off and I am back at the library once again. I am right away posted at the front desk and am full of energy and vigor. Unfortunately I dressed up today. Here I am resplendent in my velvet pinstripe jacket with the brilliant purple satin lining. I am melting. These are thick warm clothes, and if one goes racing about the library tracking down a DVD of The Jane Austen Book Club, or unlocking doors, or running back to the phones to poke Dan and see how grumpy he is today, one burns up. One moistens. This is not part of the dress up plan!
The dress up plan is that I put on my best socks. I wear my nicest pale blue button down shirt. I dress in this lovely Little Lord Fauntleroy/Gomez jacket, bought in a location glamorously close to Piazza Navona, and no one dares to ask me to do anything. I look too important and wonderful to do any of the trifling things that people need done around my library. And the patrons who approach me do so with terrible care. "Look at the important man." They say to themselves. "Do I dare disturb him to ask him to help me find something, fix something, or instruct me?"
Well, they do dare to disturb me, despite how well dressed I am. But they do it ever so carefully, gently, obsequiously even, bowing before my regal vestments. Clearly I could send them away and stay cool and unruffled in my gentlemanly gorgeousness. But I don't. I dash off to the ends of the library for them. I leave no stone unturned. I act quickly, even if it all defeats the whole purpose of dressing up. I help people immediately, leaving my dawdling co-worker I share the front desk with free to hide in her ineffectual nothingness. There she is in her ancient shabby vest undisturbed while I broil in my finery.
Oh curse my need to help people! I am undone again.