Tuesday, January 1, 2019

The sound of shelving books

I am shelving, or I was trying to, but there is a man talking so loudly at the reference desk that I cannot concentrate. He is saying banal things. The librarian is apparently helpless to stop him. But it is so distractingly loud!


And then these people keep coming down my row even though there are currently 34 unused rows all full of plentiful space and ample books in this library. I went and counted the available rows but the count may be inaccurate because every time I went into one I was suddenly joined by throngs of patrons. And these people come down my row because, apparently, they need, they just have to have, I don't really know, human contact? some random books by authors whose last names start with "G", or maybe "H"?, except, no, there's nothing good here, so they wander on, presumably looking for other, rare, occupied rows.

And then there are people pacing the library to stay loose in between bouts of sitting and staring vacantly into space, an hour of staring, an hour of pacing, with both including a lot of breathing. And there are people in squeaky shoes going to the bathroom over and over again. Children are screaming so loudly the books stiffen and grow brittle and rustle restlessly on the shelves. I can hear them! And as people walk through a mysteriously sticky patch on a nearby floor their footsteps pull up from it with a sound like huge swaths of Velcro being ripped apart. Oh, and there's that cough again.

So that's it.

I will write a blog post instead of shelving. It requires less concentration, and the scratch of my pen and the roar of my genius envelopes me in a soothing, protective white noise. 

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