The Library

RDP Tuesday: Neuron

It was one of those conversations you listened to because you were in line and it was taking forever to move- I should probably mention this was before Cell Phones were around but Walkmans were.

However, if you were in a library and the Librarian was one of those prissy librarians who wrinkled up their noses in disapproval at your books and she took her time showing you how little she thought of your books then you can probably guess that if you had your music up just a tad bit too loud she would throw you out of the library.

That’s the position I was in, I was waiting to check out some tapes ( VHS of course ) and this tightly run ship was my local  library and I did know the rules.

Our librarian was named  Lindy Hodge and she made sure your visit to her library was as unpleasant as possible.  If she had her way those old fashioned heavy doors would always be locked an if you wanted anything Lindy Hodge would might and I mean might shove it through the return book slot to you.

So on this day- it was late October and the sky was already dark and it was cold and frosty- it was stay in an watch a movie night and I wanted to get home as fast as possible.

There  was  a gallon of egg nog and a bottle of brandy in my kitchen that literally had my name written on them.

Of course it was taking forever- not only because the woman in front of me had a stack of books, by Lindy Hodge- who was the head of the Arts Commissions and considered herself a skilled poet and photographer let the lady in front of me know she disapproved of each and every book she was scanning ( yeah, we did have those at the time ) out.

I heard Lindy Hodge snap the last book closed and the woman who was checking the books out of Lindy Hodge’s Library shifted comfortably from one foot to the next and as she gathered them up I heard her saying to Lindy Hodge, ” I’m writing a cookbook- research your know. What a chore!”

Then she leaned over the counter and whispered something to Lindy Hodge. Then turned around and smiled at me.

I smiled back and looked down at her books and the top book was called, ” A Quick History of Grave Robbing. ”

I could have pretended to not notice her book, I could have simply just stepped forward but I couldn’t.

My brain was in the process of leaving my body- or that’s what it felt like.

” Have a nice evening. Stay warm. ” I added.

I took a peek at the rest of her books and saw one about funeral practices and another about tombstones.

” Thank you. ” she said and I could see she was trying not to laugh. ”

Then the  lady sort of swept down the aisle and out the door and I didn’t move an inch until she was gone. I mean, I could have I just couldn’t get my brain to talk to my body. It was busy trying to connect all of these little moment together and it was struggling.

I put my tape on the counter and pushed it forward just a little, towards Lindy Hodge because Lindy was sort of staring off into space and her thin lips were pale.  She was not with us, if you know what I mean.

Lindy looked at my tape and then she looked at me and said, ” That woman, that woman said she’d love to have me for tea sometime.”

I tried not to smile.

Finally my brain got into gear and I  heard a little voice whisper in my ear, ” I hope she goes. ”



8 thoughts on “The Library

  1. I loved this tale.
    My first professional job as an anthropologist had me housed inside a library running a series of special collections as well as doing fieldwork and programs. I ran into more than a few like Lindy Hodge.

    In the late afternoon when it was quiet I’d go around and push all the books back deep into their shelves, and then watch as the librarians scooted around putting them back where they thought they should be.
    If I really wanted to annoy them I’d start a discussion on which cataloging system was best: Library of Congress or Dewey Decimal always arguing for the one they liked least ( Library of Congress).

    • Believe it or not, this is a true story. Only in reality I was the woman with the books. I changed the POV because it actually improved the story itself so I went with that. That librarian? All I changed was her name. She was a piece of work alright.

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