This is probably an unnecessary statement due to the name of this blog, but…I love the library. It’s such a wonderful concept. Books, magazines, CDs, DVDs all in one place. I especially love the library now that I’ve moved to Queens. Back in Massachusetts, in my hometown, the library was ruined by the menopausal women who worked there and by the possibility of running into someone terrifying. Someone like…the home economics teacher who my older brother assaulted, or the guy who told me about my brother looking at porn in first period, or the other guy who told me he was taking the school bus to my house to buy drugs from my brother, or just running into my brother himself. Just kidding. He doesn’t go to the library.
But in Queens it’s different. It’s also an adventure, but not one that will stir up nostalgia for my childhood. Last time I went, for example, I was writing poetry on the second floor when a guy approached me holding a Bengali/English dictionary. “Are you American?” he asked. “Yes,” I said. He asked me to pronounce “enthusiasm” with my American accent. Then he explained that in Bangladesh he learned English, but it was British English. And he said something about eggplant and okra, but I didn’t understand. Then the library was closing, so we had to part ways, but he invited me to the Indian restaurant owned by his uncle where he works.
At the library in my hometown you’d never get invited to an Indian restaurant. You’d get slammed with a $30 fine for returning a copy of Angela’s Ashes that was (probably) damaged before you took it out. Then you’d drive to the ATM, drive back to the library, and hand the heat flash of a woman two twenty dollar bills with tears streaming down your face because now you can’t afford to bail your brother out of jail.