Monday I checked out of the library a memoir book to read as research on my final project. I last remembered seeing it while thumbing through it in my office. I remember seeing it sitting on my staff's desk, on the corner near mine. I always set stuff there because it is usually the only clear foot-square space in the whole office.
Sometime later that day I looked around my bedroom and I couldn't find the book. My floor is covered with books, tissues, socks, very-important-papers, candy, etc. So you'd think I could find a 5x7 white paperback easily. NOT. I sort of put it out of my head got into bed with another one and soon fell asleep. The next morning when I met my ex at his place and while helping him get dressed, taking him to the hospital, listened to him complain, getting his clothes back off and readied for surgery I didn't think about the book.
Later that night at home with my foot pain roaring and the rest of my body exhausted I got on my pink pajamas and sat on my bed. Where was that book? I scanned the floor again and even looked on the piles of blankets on the bed. No book. Now I am really starting to wonder what the heck happened to this book. It must be at work.
The next morning after I washed ex's old clothes and the ones I bought him the night before, I broadened my search. I looked in the dining room and living rooms and a little in the car. I thought about some of the very serious library staff and how appalled they are when someone is late with a book, I wondered what they did to you when you lost one.
A girl I know who works there was talked about for years because she lost so many videos and books. The Director took away her library privileges. The rumor was that her substance abuse using now ex was having her 'steal' them to sell for crack! Most of the materials she lost were children's and you know how beat up the kids books are, scribbled on an all, so these are what she supposedly was getting enough money to buy crack with.
Book Nazi's every one of them.
I knew there would be no way I could buy a used copy from Amazon and have one of the clerks duplicate the stickers bar code thingies for me and just reshelve it. If the girls I use to work with at the hotel would have totally done whatever they could to cover up the loss. One might have even put in the computer that it was a lost item and moved on with her day knowing she was satisfied with a job well done.
But not clerks and especially not librarians. No. They believe themselves to be the protectors of papers stuck together with horse glue like each and every book was their own personal rare collection. By the way, on Amazon, the book sells new for $16. and used for .o3 cents-- I checked just in case I could realize a 'fallen' library staff member.
The only one I knew I could turn to was the clerk who wore the scarlet letter for the mystery loss of books and videos surely eaten by her German Shepard or lost under the pounds of debris in her little girls unswept room. Lu Lu. She was my only hope. Somehow I came to share my miserable tale with her about me loosing the book into the abyss within a matter of hours.
As she pulled down the lost and found box from a really high shelf, she said if maintenance had found it they would have turned it in to circulation, or even if someone else found it that is what they would do. She checked my account immediately.
I shared with her my tale of the hospital and my ex and his broken arm, surgery, and the 7-8" plate the surgeon screwed into his bone, the 32 staples to secure his muscle an skin, and how I had to get him in and out of the car and bring his clothes home and go out and buy him some more and put his boots and all the clothes back in the car and go back to the hospital, etc...and the reality the book is gone.
Maybe in the hospital parking lot snow pile I had to climb over and hope I wouldn't fall in. Maybe in the bag of clothes I had to carry in and out of the hospital. Maybe in the dumpster at work where it must have fallen from the staff's desk into our garbage can picked up and dumped unseen next to the one post-it-note into the bigger can and then to the dumpster. Lu Lu who lived a chaotic dysfunctional double life was the only one of sixty plus employees who would not be shocked by the events that had come about in my life the past four days.
As I wound down, she looked at me and with a moment contemplation, said, "look on the shelf, you never know, someone may have re-shelved it."
Great. I went like a wasp to my thigh a couple of summers ago,. As my eyes focused more an more, I knew this was the book. I recognized the wrinkle on the cover, the food crumbs smashed into the design, and the proper placement of course as Dewey would have loved, and made a hit that was big and scary.
Just like metaphysics proves everyday. We are all connected.
Properly alphabetized under BIO Mullen was "It Takes a Village Idiot."