Saturday, April 19, 2014

Bucktown/Wicker Park Public Library, Friday, April 18, 2014, 2:25 pm.

Bucktown/Wicker Park Public Library,
Friday, April 18, 2014, 2:25 pm.
First Floor:
The tables are nearly full, so I
camp out at the edge of the
one nearest the meeting rooms
and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Outside, the fresh grass peeks
through last fall’s dead leaves.
My nose starts to run and I
turn back to the quiet bookshelves
in this corner of the library:
Test Prep and Careers.
Their shelves are filled with titles
like The Princeton Review guide to the
Job Search Letters, Resumes, or
Interviews for Dummies
Postal Exam Preparation
How to be a State Trooper
Get Your Captain’s License!
No one else here is concerned
with any of that, just
How do I print this?
What’s the wifi?
Where’s the nearest 7-11?
or my favorite overheard conversation,
between a mother and a son:
“Can I go up there?”
“No, not now.”
“But I asked!”
“Yes, and thank you so much
for asking respectfully, but my
answer is no.”
Followed by the stubborn
stomps of a child who’s asked and expects
the answer to be yes.
Because what’s the point in
asking otherwise? Aren’t we
all just asking to go “up there,”
wherever that may be,
not for actual permission, but
just to be polite?
And when the universe answers
no, we stomp around anyway,
like children in a public library
on a Friday afternoon.


I wrote this (mostly) at the library in honor of National Library Week. Visit your library! You never know how it might inspire you.

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