There is a man sitting next to me. He is wearing a sweat shirt from Humboldt. It reads Humboldt State. A green John Deere hat is pulled down. Covering his face as he looks down. He is reading the comics.
The Hot Librarian is at the desk. Today she is wearing a black coat. She has a grey top on underneath. Her hair to loose. It falls around her shoulders. And over a grey scarf. A young boy asks for help finding a book. And her swift beautiful fingers go to work.
I wonder if the man went to Humboldt. Maybe the sweat shirt was found. Or given to him. Maybe a child went to college in Arcata.
A line is forming at the desk. The Hot Librarian has such an amazing smile. Her beauty has such a natural quality. She is naturally helpful. And friendly.
The man next to me has turned to reading the TV timetable. There is a certain odor in the air today.
Across from me another man is reading Rolling Stone. David Bowie is on the cover. The man’s sleeves are pulled back. He is wearing a black jacket. Under which a black top peeks out. The man focuses on his reading through thin rimmed glasses.
The Hot Librarian has left the desk to “Dan.”
A man who looks like he is in business sits across the table. He has an iPad and is looking at his phone. His graying hair is neatly combed and trim. He wears a grey suit. A white shirt and a tie. There is a gold band on his ring finger. In front of him is his iPad. But also a folio with a notepad.
The Hot Librarian is back. Both the other men have left the table. I am here early today. With her slim fingers she goes back to work on the keyboard. I try to watch without watching. To stare without staring. Her grey top is long and loose. It falls past her waist and over black leggings. She has brown leather shoes with buckles. When she focuses she gets a stern expression. The eyes are fixed and the lips are straight. She takes her job serious. Helping patrons find what they are seeking.
The married businessman is still messing with his phone. Do people feel me watching them? Sometimes when I peek at the Hot Librarian she seems to be peeking at me. Not in the same way. But like she is looking to see if I am looking. When I got here today I smiled at her and waved. She probably remembers me from being in here before.
The library itself is still today. The weather wet and cold outside. A wrestling of items can be heard. Faintly mixed with quiet voices. Behind me is the hum of the copy machine. And the Hot Librarian is staying busy keeping things in order. She is wearing layers of clothing.
The young boy is waiting for her to return. Her skin is light. She has a cute short pointed nose. On which she rests her dark rimmed glasses.
An older man sits down next to me. He reads The Nation. A liberal publication. I used to read it. But it depressed me so I stopped.
The businessman is working on his iPad. Graphs and figures can be seen across the table.
The sky outside is grey. The day light filtering through clouds. A light rain has been on and off all day. Temperatures have been low.
She is back at her work station. Typing in rapid bursts. Focused on the monitor. Her lips part showing a glimpse of her teeth. She flexes her finger is a short pause. Resting her chin on her fist she reads the monitor. When Dan comes over she turns to chat. Her cute long fingers pointing. Talking to Dan, she moves her hands around. Then picks up some scrap paper.
The married man is taking notes in his pad. Then picks up his phone. He is now browsing CDs of music.
The Librarian is helping an older woman. The woman in a long black coat has a purple hat. The knit cap is rolled around the edges. And She goes to get a book for the lady.
I am the only person at the table now. The businessman’t things sit in front of his empty chair. Pages from a newspaper rest in the middle of the table. A plastic case sits off-center. In it are scraps of paper and short pencils. One of the pencils lays on the table.
She is putting her hair up in a small bun. It sits at the back of her head. Her thin neck is visible under the grey scarf. Her jaws firm and set as she gets to work. She has an earring in her ear. A barely noticeable sparkle next to the gleam in her eyes.
The businessman has sat down again. But is not getting his things. Pushing in the chair he makes his exit.
The clicking noise of Her scrolling the mouse can be heard. The library is calm. Books shuffle, voices murmur. The alarms beeps sharp and short. Again I am alone at the table. There are two librarians at the desk. Dan and Her. Dan appears to be late twenties or early thirties. She may be in her thirties as well. Though I have thought she was younger before.
Her fingers pause and the keyboard. A thought on her mind. The screen in front of her holds her attention. The man with no personality walks by the table.
There are now three other people at the table. An older black man reads a book. His short curly hair is gray at the tips. He leans over the book and reads through sunglasses. Wearing a grey Nike sweatshirt, his long fingers turn the pages.
Next to him a younger white male uses a laptop. With headphones on he scribbles in a notebook. He has trim brown hair. And is wearing a plaid patterned shirt. His right hand writes as his head bops to the music.
Dan has left the desk. It is now another younger male. He is helping a woman in a puffy mauve coat. It is an ugly color for a coat.
Next to me the third of the men is reading The Economist. He has a shaved head. His knit cap rest next to him on the table. He wears blue jeans and a long-sleeve green top. His face shows signs of not shaving. One hand rests near his forehead. He looks down at the magazine and the other arm rest on the table. His hand hangs off the edge.
A line has formed at the desk. More people are coming into the library. A blonde woman is confused on how to print. And I a man with a walking stick holds a book on knives. This older man could be homeless. He rests his backpack on the ground and pulls up a chair. The line for the desk is longer. A woman needs help with the copier. Are they calling Her out to help?
They did. Her hair is down again. The lanyard resting on top of her strands. She checks out the line at the desk and goes to the back again. Her voice is so amazing. And now she is gone again.
The man across from me is reading a book about the Netherlands. And the one next to me is still reading his magazine. A young woman looks at magazines behind me. Long blonde hair and a thin purple coat.
And She is back. Helping a tall man in a green and grey jacket. She smiles and hands him a clip board. The young blonde has gone. I can’t see her, but I can hear her typing. There has been a slight rush at the library. She is helping him to use a computer for the internet.
She fidgets her fingers under the desk. Waves as a patron entering the library and waits for the younger male to finish. She seems restless. Wanting to get to something she is working on in the back room. Then she moves with a clear purpose to the other corner. Like a ninja she moves swift and straight. Another woman comes up needing assistance.
The African-American man across from me gets a book on the Masai people. He is pulling books out of the Junior Reader section.
The woman at the desk has a long black coat. It falls almost to the floor. She is looking for information about federal grants. I think being a librarian would be a fun job.
But now the Hot One is gone. Away to some other place.
(I think I got her name: Hannah)