The Library Storage Room

The long, narrow room was piled chest high with boxes on both sides. He had to twist sideways to fit between them. A couple of frosted glass windows provided the only light. She reached around him to knock the door shut giving him an opening to wrap his arms around her waist. Her body melted into his in the dark. He ran his palms up her back enjoying her willing shiver. “I missed you, Tara.”

She moaned, but didn’t say she missed him. This was weird. Wrong. Her body responded just like it always did, but she wasn’t saying her lines.

He kissed her throat, digging under her clothes. Under the huge wooly sweater, he found a thinner sweater, under that was something silky. Why was she wearing silky stuff if she wasn’t expecting him and where the fuck was her skin? “You’re under all this stuff somewhere, right?”

 

You might be under the impression that South America is warm. You’d be wrong, at least about the part I was in. When I accepted this job I was told it never gets below freezing. Let me assure you 33 degrees Fahrenheit with 50% humidity is cold. I was the full time librarian and so spent all day in the library, which was a large unheated room. At onces, the kids would flood in and body heat would bring the temperature up a degree or two briefly, but the rest of the time it was frigid. To combat that I would wear tights, thermal underwear, wool pants, a turtleneck, my Irish wool sweater and my wool jacket, every day, all day. When I shovel snow in the winter, I only wear the thermals, the pants, the turtleneck and the sweater.

My library, like the library in the story, had been given a huge donation that I was sorting through by a professor from Ohio State University. Whoever made the donation had inexplicably boxed everything up and shipped it to Chile. I found everything from young adult novels to college biology textbooks to a M.A.S.H. trivia book to decades worth of soil analysis journals. I kept the soil analysis journals from the Dust Bowl era and gave the rest to the maintenance staff for firewood. Just because I was cold, didn’t mean that everyone had to be.

My library, also like the library in the story, had a long narrow storage room where all these boxes of books were stored. It was lit only by a window that opened into the bathrooms and the boxes were stacked about chest high. Because these books were decaying every so slowly, they were giving off a bit of heat, and because the room was enclosed, that heat didn’t have anywhere to go. I spent hours in that room sorting books and enjoying the balmy five extra degrees the library denied me.

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