I was back working at the library after a few days off. I have actually been free from the library for quite a few days in the past few weeks, for a variety of reasons, and I found it a little difficult to be back on this short-staffed Sunday.
A woman came up to me at the front desk and said "You have been here for a really long time!"
"No." She reiterated. "A really long time."
I assented again, thinking "It takes one to know one."
"I mean that in a good way." She added.
"That's nice." I said.
I meant it in a good way too then.
At which point she added "You might not think so after the next thing I tell you."
Her thing wasn't all that bad. She just had a late book. Albeit it was several years late. But I didn't feel put out about it at all. Late books rarely offend me.
Nevertheless I couldn't take the book back after so long. Fortunately it was just a skinny kid's paperback thing- $4.99. "You can pay it whenever you want." I said. "Or never. Plus you get to keep the book." Then I stripped the little long lost book of all its labels like I was breaking a Sargent back to a Private after they led their platoon to a humiliating defeat in an important battle.
She took it all okay, I thought.
I guess I did too.