With Henry’s supervision, I learned that the library was open until 4pm on Saturday, so we set off. Chooch too, because I needed backup. What if the librarian asked me a question and I didn’t know the answer?? Henry’s good at answering for me anyway. That’s what he does, since he’s an alpha male and I’m a beaten down shadow of the woman I once was, living in fear of the hand.
The first thing I discovered about the library: they must get their gas for free because it felt like I was in Satan’s study. That combined with trying to remember how to crack the Dewey code, my deodorant was put into overdrive. I started to have hot flashes. A library, something that has been around since BEFORE CHRIST, had me stumped. It was kind of like hitting a technology wall in reverse. Take away the Internet and smartphones and all the shit that makes our grandparents’ brains smoke, and you will see me flounder. (Although I should note that after writing about my failed library mission the other day, I realized that I was looking at the website for the library in Brookline, MA, not my little neighborhood in Pittsburgh. So apparently the Internet makes my brain smoke too, OK?)
In school, I always had someone else find books for me. During the short time I went to Pitt, I had to go the university’s library once for a paper I was writing. I made Janna go with me. That place was at least twenty-thousand floors high and absolutely reaked of education. I had hoped to see couples breeding behind the stacks, because my only previous experience with a college library was what I saw on “Felicity.” Eighteen paper cuts and a pocketful of Janna’s change later, I ended up not even using any of the research I fruitlessly xeroxed. And if I recall, the librarians there were fucking cunts. But there were lots of lounges with vending machines. I will always remember a place for its vending machines.
Thank God Henry was there because it took him all of thirty seconds to locate the book that I had reserved. (That in itself was a really big deal. I did it online and thought it was the most amazing thing. Kind of like last week when Henry’s mom not only discovered Lady Gaga, but did so on an iPod. That’s a huge feat for the above-60 set, a lot to take in at once! I feel like me and Henry’s mom, we kind of swapped places, because I bet she can navigate a fucking library professionally since that’s all kids in her generation had for entertainment, aside from cock fighting, sock hops and having gratuitous sex without the worry of AIDs and venereal disease.)
(….On second thought, maybe she wasn’t spending that much time in libraries.)
Then I had to get my library card. The librarian slid over an application and once she turned away with my drivers license, I had no idea what she told me to fill out. I think I filled out the “office personnel only” section and possibly misspelled my middle name (which I often do because I didn’t even learn the true spelling of it until I was 18, and that is a story so true it could be added to the BIBLE).
I took my library card with hands a’shakin’, snatched my book from the librarian’s hands and fled. It was scary, you guys. But I look at it as another fear overcome, much like when I mustered up the bravery to cross the threshold of Pita Land, a small Mediterranean market down the street from the library, after being horrified of it for years and years. So much that I would actually shield my eyes from it every time I drove past it.
And then last night, when I settled down to read my new conquest, I realized it’s the wrong fucking book. THE WRONG FUCKING BOOK.