Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Library at Night

When I was a child I was locked in the library.

Yes, literally.

I was in grade 4, and I was an exceptionally lonely and socially inept child. I didn’t have a single friend. I spent a lot of time in that library, where the librarian was kind enough to let me “help” – sometimes I shelved some books but mostly I just wandered around. I stayed late every day, because that 15 minute delay after the final dismissal bell rang was just long enough for me to avoid the two bullying girls who lived on my street.

On the day in question I was putting cards back in the returned books (yes, I am that old; I clearly remember card catalogues). There was no one at all in the library, but the lights were on so I just sat quietly at my work.

And then I heard a key in the lock, and I looked over, shocked, to see the dead bolt rotate smoothly around. I was locked in.

Of course, it wasn’t a very big deal – the lock was easy to open, but I was obscurely happy, and I felt a certain amount of relief. It wasn’t so much that I was locked in as it was that everyone else was locked out.

And there I was, alone with the books.


Courtney said...

How long did you stay at the library in the end?

Did you feel forgotten?

Artsy Reader said...

I wasn't there too long -- I just let myself out when I was ready to leave. I've often thought that the janitor (or whoever locked the door) must have been shocked to find it UNlocked the next day...

And I didn't feel at all forgotten. I felt safe.

Lindsay said...

I remember card catalogues, too! (I'm 23).

Also, great blog. I'm adding you to my blogroll.