Ex Libris

I went to the library yesterday! I can't believe I'm writing this as a revelation. Growing up I was always reading, which led to a love of writing, then the pursuit of an English degree which then left me not wanting to look at a book for a very long time. Oh, the irony!

Since finishing school, I've wanted to incorporate the list of things I said I'd do upon graduation, but it's tougher than anticipated. Adrenal fatigue has brought me down, to the point where I have no energy for running errands with Shelby.

As he was heading out the door to do laundry at the Mom & Dad Laundromat, he asked what I was going to do while he was gone. I shrugged. "How about you read a book?" Hmm. Glancing at my bookshelf, I appraised the titles. Non-fiction. Inspiration. Cookbooks. Photography. Eh.

"I don't have any."

He gives me "The Tinker Look." (He looks just like his mom and their "seriously?" face is so identical it's scary.)

"Ooo! I could go to the library!" Just this morning I pulled into the parking lot to turn around and noticed their hours. 1 to 7 p.m. The clock reads 6. I got this!

"Do you have the energy for that?"

"You know what, I think I do." It's about time I leave the couch so I can come back to it (like Puss at the front door- "Let me in so I can go back out again."). But I have a purpose for leaving! And coming back!

So I roll the MegaBug down to the Bethlehem Public Library, license in hand so I can open a library card. I've been there once before, and the vibe feels so different from the library I'm used to back in Sugar Hill. Kind of reminds me of the Derry Public Library I grew up visiting: silent and somewhat solitary.

How do I choose a book? Does it choose me? What do I want? Ice cream. -No! What do I want to read? Hmm. Something with a strong female lead!

My eye selects books in that genre.

"With the death of her grandmother...."

"Upon the birth of her son..."

Ahh hell no.

Okay, so I know what I don't want. Let's refine this search. Strong female protagonist on the path of self discovery and personal success. Travel optional, but definitely a bonus.

And my gosh I couldn't find a thing. Why is it that the only books I was picking up were about a family member dying, a child being born, or falling for a man and becoming June Cleaver? Come on. In the time I've spent looking in Bethlehem, I would have had seven books picked out at Richardson. 

Oh god, I read like someone from Sugar Hill. =0

I sit on the floor and close my eyes.

Booook! Come to me.

Internal Monologue Meg sounds like

Winnie from

Hocus Pocus

.

Finally I pick out three and saunter towards the librarian victoriously.

"I'd like to open a library card please. Or start one. Whatever the word is. Basically- I want a library card." He begins to ask a question and I whip out my license with a smirk.

He squints at it. "This doesn't have your physical address."

My smirk falls.

Dafuq?

I take my license back and examine it.

"The DMV didn't print my address on the back like I asked them to...?" I checked that box. I remember checking that box. I remember talking to the clerk about that box to ensure my physical address would be on my license. "I live in Bethlehem, I promise!"

"Unfortunately, we need proof of residence."

This is why I told Shelby to let me open the utility accounts with him. And our landlady never put my name on the lease. I got nothing. DMV didn't even ask for proof. ...?

I write my name on a Post It and leave it with the books I picked out. Defeated, I drive home. Over the course of the two minute journey, my emotions shift from anger to frustration, depression, sadness, contemplation- epiphany- and land on determination. Leaving my wallet on the passenger seat, I run to the filing cabinet in my apartment, sifting until I find a small stack of papers to make my case. 6:45. I got time!

Feeling satisfied and quite proud of myself, I head back to the library and explain my pile to the librarian in a very lawyer-like fashion. He bestows upon me a library card. Woot woot!

I smile at the three books before me, their glossy covers shining back. It's been so long since I've read for pleasure, and I can't wait to start. I could read 30 minutes before bed! That would help cure my insomnia. I could bring a book to waiting rooms. Maybe I could read a few minutes when I get home, or-

"You are in the system! Here is your new library card."

Grinning, I place it in my wallet.

"Unfortunately, new patrons can only borrow two books at a time."