I write these humble, pathetic, sub-par words in the Port Williams library. I am in the reading room, a room that contains nearly all of the paperbacks and graphic novels and reference materials for the library, along with the computers people use for the free internet. I sit in an overstuffed, worn chair whose arms nearly surround me. If I had the money, I'd replace all of the furniture with newer stuff manufactured after 1976.
Patricia doesn't get it, but I love this library. I got my first membership card when I was 10 or 11, shortly after someone at my elementary school came to us and spoke to us about the value of having a library card. I remember borrowing and reading the complete Sherlock Holmes via this library. I was, uh, late in returning it. Crazy ass late. The librarian at the time was pretty sore at me. I don't blame her. I learned the importance of returning items that aren't mine on time and in good condition from that experience, if you want to know.
I visited the library as often as I could as a youngster. But, they weren't open any evenings or weekends back then. This meant I could mostly only come here in the summer months when I could ride my bike here from my parents' place. As sad as this may sound, those are some of my fondest memories of my childhood: Riding my bike to the local museum, which had free admission back then, exploring it for the 200th time, and rounding about Starr's Point to the library, where I'd browse, return something, get something and return home for supper. It was not a bad way to spend an afternoon back then. It doesn't sound like a bad way to spend one now, except that the bike riding would probably kill me.
My father was hired, 20 years or so ago, to replace many of the shelves at the library. I remember him complaining, "Why do they need so damn many books?" I told him how many books I have. He stopped mentioning the topic. Those shelves are still here, and they're lovely.
I'm sorry to keep going on about this library. You would likely not share my love for it. Patricia sure doesn't. But this place holds such nostalgia for me that it is hard not to wallow in it sometimes. Certainly the chairs evoke that sense if nothing else.
I will be returning to work on Monday, unless circumstances prevent that from happening. I hope they don't. But, until then, I must purchase a few groceries to sustain me until I do return to the city. I don't miss the traffic there.
You guys have a good day. I will see you tomorrow.