You read how my day went down yesterday. I’m not kidding, at all, when I narrate for you now the way the evening after that rather trying day proceeded:
After Peanut’s in bed and Spouse is settled, I head to the main library on campus to pick up a book on hold and to (hopefully) nab another book someone returned before anyone else notices it’s back. I arrive at the main door and walk through the glorious and stately halls to get to the circulation desk. Time: 8:45. I watch as the metal gate descends, too far away to holler or run or be otherwise indecorous. I get to the entrance and read that closing time is 8:45. Well, I guess I should have checked that online. Book on hold will have to wait. (Phlebotomist rants replay in my head…)
So I walk down the hill to the lowly undergrad library, through the catacombs of which I can still access the main stacks even after closing. I search for the book purportedly returned. Not on the shelf. Nowhere to be seen. To whom does one report that? The circulation desk at the main library. But they are at home with their phlebotomy and philately and whatnot.
So I research underground or a while, collecting articles that I’m not allowed to access from home, due to the vast conspiracy between the online critical journals and the babysitting lobby. I subvert them all with my free sitter, the father of my freaking child.
I recheck the shelf, just in case. No luck. But good thinking on rechecking, eh? Wouldn’t want it checked out this morning before I can peel the lad from my leg or anything like that.
And on a whim last night, after an hour or so of journal trolling, I search for a free reading book I’ve been coveting. In luck: it’s housed in the aforementioned lowly undergrad library. I navigate catacombs, climb stairs, survive glares that remind me a nigh-on 40 year old pregnant alumnae is not a quote-unquote normal site on campus after hours. If ever. I find the book. I descent the stairs and head to undergrad circulation. Time: 10:07. Sign on the desk informs me that circ. closes at 10:00. Guess I should have checked that before I leisurely used the stairs instead of the elevator. I’m really tempted to issue forth with a SCREW YOU, AL GORE here, but I hold back. Bottle it up. It’s of more use to me there. I contemplate, I grouse, and I drop the book into the return slot. Hope that confuses them for weeks, those loser philatelists.
And, I swear to all things chocolate and marshmallowy, I showed up on campus this morning to get both books and to report the missing text: marquis sporting event of the year ongoing; library apparently closes for such nonsense. There were lawns full of food vendors and grand entrances full of dancers and drummers. On the marble steps of the oldest University in California. Drummers. Dancers. Where are the books? It’s unseemly but true: the library closes for football. This ain’t one of those Big Ten schools where they go to college as an excuse to have an alma mater to support all football season. Our football prowess is not exactly our calling card. Nobel Laureates, sure. number of periodic elements named by and for our graduates, yup. Holdings of original Mark Twain manuscripts. Yes. History of protest and disorderly conduct? You betcha. Football? No. But you’re gonna close the library. I see. I guess I should have checked that online. Wherever library closures due to gridiron conflict are listed, I suppose.
I smell a new dotcom.
I have now slogged to campus, up and down the north hill twice, carrying 40 lbs. of briefcase during precious writing/childcare hours yet left with none of the three books I desire. Not one.
And I can’t even rant about it. They’ve beaten me down, fair readers. Librarians and phlebotomists and veterinarians and quarterbacks. Seriously, I’m waiting for the cosmic payback. Better be one cute f—ing baby, one Lazarus-like cat, and one awesome journal that publishes my paper for all this b.s.