It has been a while since I have been at the library. I have less than an hour. Maybe I can finish things at the other library. Today there are two men at the table. Both older.
One has a shaggy beard. The brown of the beard matches his hair. But a shade lighter. He is using a small laptop. The man is wearing a moss green jacket. Like an army jacket. Or outdoor wear. Under which is a shirt, of matching color. But it also has plaid stripes.
Next to the man’s laptop is a small black case. With a large pocket for the laptop. And two pockets on the side for other things. Maybe the power cord.
The green-jacketed man is using the computer quietly. Browsing an unknown website. The other man has headphones. He is using a library laptop. A Chromebook lent to patrons for use in the library.
This man has a growing bald patch. But it is just beginning. Dark wire rimmed glasses rest on a clean shaven face. By the movement of his head he appears to be listening to music. He is using laptop number 38.
He has a Columbia Wear fleece coat on, zipped up to the collar. It is a shade between gray and green. He is focused on his task and his music. He appears to be in his 50s. While the other man appears to be in his 30s.
Under the sleeve of the mans gray jacket a watch is visible. His fingers are long and don’t show signs of hard labor. His nails are neat, clean and trimmed. There is a delicacy to his hand. And their movement on the mouse. The other man’s hands are larger, more rugged. They have more hair. A dark hair.
The two men seem unaware of each other. And unaware of myself. In the library a rustle of conversation can be heard. Behind me a librarian performs tasks on a computer.
She appears to be in her 40s, but she has dyed pink hair. Just strands. Her face is hidden behind the monitor from my perspective. I am sitting facing the wall. I prefer to face the window for the view. But the two men are taking up both those chairs. I haven’t seen or heard the hot librarian today. Last time I was here I spoke to her on the way out.
It was small talk. What do you say to someone you don’t know. Someone you think is hot. Hey, want to come over and get to know each other. I’m not a lecher. But I don’t know how to talk to anyone.
I can hear the typing of the librarian. The man with the green jacket sniffles. The other man clicks his mouse. Footsteps make their way across the back of the library. And a woman unzips her coat walking behind me.
She is browsing the New Books shelf. Thin legs in dark jeans, with a dark nylon coat. She carries a blue backpack on one shoulder. Her dark curly hair stopping just above her shoulders. She is absorbed in a book. The librarian is typing faster. The other librarian walks out of the bathroom. This man has no personality. I had to pay a fine. I prefer to call it a donation, I told him. He had no response. How does someone like him end up working at a library. I think I would enjoy working at a library.
A woman is looking for something. And the librarians are helping her. She has a loud voice. Telling the librarian the books she is looking for are new. She is spelling out what she is looking for to the librarian.
The woman in the dark coat has put down her book. She is now browsing the shelf again.
I have about 27 minutes to write and post. The internet is shut off before the library closes. The woman looking for the book takes a magazine off the rack. She has dark skin, dark hair wrapped up in a head scarf. She has gone to another area of the library to read. I can never really see what is going on behind me. And in front of me the two men remain.
The one in the green jacket now checking his phone. The other still focused on his project. Both men still seem to have taken no notice of each other. Or of me.
Something is making an odd noise. A child can be heard asking, “what is that?” The child is near the front of the library, by the check out desk. Now I see the child behind me. Talking to his mother, she looks young. In her twenties at the oldest. She has a knit cap on. The dark color matching the color of her sweat shirt. On her legs are black and gray tights.
The bearded man picked up his laptop and left. The child is asking his mother to go home. There is now an empty seat across from me. But I prefer not to move for now.
Wait, did I just hear her voice? There is a noise like from a cutting machine. Or the shelving of books. Could she really be older than she looks. It sounds like her sexy voice. She is telling a patron the library closes at 6 p.m. I have twenty minutes. Across from me is the magazine rack with a range of titles. From The Economist for business people to Family Fun, Harpers, MAD Magazine, People and of course Portland.
Oh my, I just saw her walk by in her stylish black coat and dark pants. Her walk is so determined. Like a person focused on their destination. A busy person with a lot on her mind. She has a uniform. Not a library uniform. But a set of clothes she has found are comfortable. And which look good on her. It was just a flash, a flash in my mind. And I wait for her to walk by again.
The woman who was browsing the New Books has some titles to borrow. She makes her way to check-out to leave. The man in the fleece checks his watch. How much time do we have before we go. Sixteen minutes.
This little branch is always active, but never busy. Do I hear her voice again. Does she just show up to close the library? Is she always here and just comes out to help close? So many questions. Do I really want to know or would I rather dream about my short hot library girl? She is picking up stacks of books. Taking them to the back for sorting and reshelving?
She must have walked behind me because she went past the same shelf. And I hadn’t seen her walk passed before. The checkout is to my left and the computers to my right. Bathrooms are on the opposite side of the magazine rack.
She smiled at me, and nodded her head. I wonder if she notices me among all the people who come to the library. The strange guy checking her out. The interesting guy with his laptop. The cute guy who gives her the eye. This is all a dream world isn’t it? And I have ten minutes left.
A woman has sat down next to me. She has a brown leather purse, a black coat of soft fabric. And is reading a book. Her short hair is graying and curly.
The hot librarian just stopped to check the clock. Then entered the restroom. Her uniform is a black sleeveless coat, over a blue dress shirt. It hangs lose outside the coat and her pants. It twirls as she moves and flaps as she walks. She will emerge soon. Waiting is the hardest part.
The older lady next to me is reading. She has red plastic rimmed glasses. Along with her purse she carries a white canvass tote bag.
She has exited. She moves so fast it is hard to catch a glimpse. I still don’t know even how old she is, but she may be older than I imagined. Another librarian is putting movies away. The reading lady rest her forehead on her hands, focused on her book. Turning the page.
Her age is visible in the lines on her face.
A young woman just went into the bathroom with a lot of bags. I now have five minutes. And She announced the library closes in 15 minutes. Can I record her voice and play it back later?
Emergency vehicles drive by outside. I am going to post this so I don’t lose it.