Friday, December 02, 2016

Trustee in the Library

There are three trustees. White dingy uniforms, tattoos peeking out from cuffs and collars, and one wears a dark-blue knitted cap. The deputy who is with them is doing most of the work. He pushes back the ceiling panels, trying to find the leak in whatever pipes are up there, and removes and replaces the stained panels with new ones when needed. Two of them are standing between the stacks. One holds a stained panel; the other a clean new one.

The trustee in the dark-blue knitted cap is browsing while he's waiting. He pulls a James Patterson novel off the shelf. I can't see from here which one, but I know the shelf well enough to guess the author. The colors and print on the book match the Patterson pattern.

He's been in here before, and before he asked me about the fantasy author Sherrilyn Kenyon. Her books move, but I've never read them. The same is mostly true of Patterson: his books move more frequently, but I've never read them neither.

He checks the cover of the Patterson, turns it over a few times and then puts it back. He places his fingers on the tops of the books to hold the space open. He slides in the book: he places the spine's bottom-corner in the gap, moves his hand to the spine's top-corner, then pushes in the book with his index finger on the top corner.

He starts to pull out another Patterson book when the deputy, standing three rungs up on a ladder, appears to whisper something to the trustee while also offering him a stained panel. The trustee bounces onto the balls of his feet and turns to the deputy, forcibly removed from his little reverie and immersion.

The stacks stand alone now. They've moved on to the roof to blow away leaves, clean out gutters, and find any holes that might have helped the heavy, soaking rains find their way to our Precious.

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