When Nick was a star wrestler in high school he did not think that his 51 year-old self would be working in the library making just a little over minimum wage. He also didn’t think he would be divorced and paying a good chunk of his paltry take home pay towards child support. He only saw his two children for three weeks in the summer. During their stay he was endlessly barraged with “Why can’t we spend the summer in Atlanta with all of our friends?”, his ex-wife having cleaved the family apart and moving to Georgia four years before. In better times, Nick had visited Atlanta during July; his kids should be thanking him – the humidity there was excruciating!
Because of his gender and his athletic physique, Nick’s many menial jobs at the library included serving as a de facto security guard. He was charged with making sure that the motley crew of patrons were following the library rules. This task was not as easy as it sounds. The library was constantly filled with a selection of ne’er-do-wells who came in for free internet access to look up God knows what and to talk much too loudly to the other ne’er-do- wells. In addition, it was getting colder out so a lot of the crowd was loitering to get free heat under the guise of reading the latest James Patterson book.
One of the rules was “no food or drink in the library”. It absolutely incensed Nick when people thought that he was such a fool that he didn’t notice when they pulled a water bottle or chocolate bar out of their bags, took a quick sip or bite, and then put them away. Most of the time he didn’t even bother saying anything. The accused would only lie and say, “I didn’t know you couldn’t eat in here” although signs were posted all over the place, right next to the “Absolutely No Cell Phone Use” posters. Don’t even get him started on that one…
Nick is making his rounds and sees her! The rule-breaker who always eats granola bars in the place when she thinks no one is looking. Like a gift from heaven, she is asleep! There is no sleeping allowed in the library and his disturbing her inappropriately placed nap will be just the revenge he needs for having to clean up the many crumbs she has left in her wake.
As he none-too-gently shakes her awake, he is thinking, “doesn’t this loser have her own bed?” Yes, patient reader, the Rip Van Winkle does have her own bed. She went to the library as an excuse to get out of it.
I must stop writing now because I am very grouchy. I got rudely woken up from a very pleasant nap earlier.