7:40 am. I get on from the basement, a cup of coffee in hand necessitated by the indecorous hour. The seam in the paper cup creates a tiny gap between the lip and the lid through which hot coffee drips with stunning regularity, pooling in the indentation between my thumb and forefinger. The ride to the fifth floor is interminable.
11:55 am. Loopy and distracted after two hours of teaching, I get on from the first floor. A pear-shaped girl in lesbian shoes pretends to glance around her looking for the stairwell. When the car’s arrival dings, she fauxpologizes, "I’m only going to two." In my pocket, the track advances to "Baby Got Back."
12:03 pm. As I negotiate two armsful of books wondering how I will hit the down button, the film school’s new hire strides past, makes eye contact, passes by. He is a yankee, I remember. The wait for the car back down to the first floor extends as, in a Proustian moment of reflection, I test myself to see whether I can name all 14 of the books in the stack I am carrying. I can’t. I curse the library’s in-person-renewal policy.
12:21 pm. On the way back, I think if I had the board-flat torso of a twelve-year-old boy the books would balance better. Instead they want to tip off the top, so I walk swaybacked. Two lunching ladies join me at the first floor. They do not select a number. My overcooked noodle of an arm can’t help them. Two obvious freshmen get in on the third floor, thinking we are going down. The ride is interminable.