Where, when I wake up at 3:00 o’clock in the morning I can slip out of bed quietly, slide on my PJ’s and flip-flops and sneak out to my bike, and place my journal and pen in my trusty bike basket.
Where I can slide my library card for door access and stumble sleepily into the stacks and Selena, the librarian with makeup like Rainbow Fish, will offer me pan dulce and coffee, if I help her reshelf the picture books.
And I do, because I love pan dulce and picture books.
And Margaret, the hot librarian, is wearing her Betty Boop sleeper and filing her nails while listening to Dr Zhivago on audio CD. She points to the stack of novels told in poetic form that she pulled for me before I arrived, because she’s telepathic or nosy or both.
I find myself pouring over words and they’re pouring over me as I get cozy in the teen section with its hip chairs, colorful carpet and cool posters. I lean a funky pillow against the wall and wish for fuzzy socks, when I notice that fuzzy socks happen to be the prize for library patrons who visit between 2 and 4 A.M., in my choice of purple with shooting rainbow stars or hot pink with buttery yellow hearts.
I love purple. I stretch my comfy, newly warm feet.
I look at the second stack Margaret puts before me. Walter and Karen, Lois and Rob, please whisper in my ear. I’m waiting at your feet. Madeleine, C.S, Sandra and Gary, my ideas won’t let go of me enough, my words are wanton. I’m sleepy enough to improvise tonight, so can you get your muse to kick my muse’s booty?
I plug my Ipod into the library’s music machine. All music is at my fingertips. I don’t know if God’s playlist can compare with mine. I am inspired.
I read, I write. I think. I dream. I wonder. I draw. I throw a quiet hissy fit. I write some more until my head is bobbing and my words are unreadable.
The smell of coffee reminds me I’m in my dream library and Robert, who is in charge of all the audio-visual files, is stirring cappuccino. It calls my name.
I grab the hot cup and Robert slips me a napkin with a Neruda poem he’s written on one side and his answer to the poem on the other. I go to the big dictionary and look up two words that are new to me, as usual, and I smile because I was right about one and clueless about the other-incunabula? I love it though and store it away for later use.
It reminds me of a short film I’ve been meaning to see, and I find it on the perfectly organized shelves, in the correct genre and I slide my card for access to the empty viewing room, where I sip coffee and watch the film on a full size medium size movie screen in the comfort of the best library known to mankind.
After watching and taking notes, I make my way to non-fiction and glare at the Writer’s Market, sitting on the shelf, mocking my entire existence or maybe just me in my long socks. I stick out my tongue at it.
I notice the sky turning. The sun will rise soon and if I stay too long, Chris will show up sleepy eyed, wearing his I Can’t Sleep Without You t-shirt, and stand outside the glass doors to the teen room with a barbacoa taco or Hot Tamales to lure me home, even though he is all the lure I need.
(So is it too much to ask for a library that tessellates time, so my family doesn’t miss me when I’m away? Okay, so maybe that is too much to ask for, but you have to admit, it’s dreamy.)
I linger in the periodicals where Image Magazine has caught my eye. Art and Faith. Faith and Art.
It might as well say Breathing and Breathing, because there is art in everything to me. I recently asked a CPA friend how she enjoyed tax season and her eyes brightened as she described it as a fun puzzle to solve. I saw her mind working and I smile at how mine doesn’t work that way but know her art is in numbers and mine is in words sometimes, pictures sometimes, movement sometimes, and sound sometimes.
I wish I could pin myself down a bit more. But it’s impossible. I’ve tried.
I am learning to be happy Breathing. Breathing. Breathing. And happy that I have a library with librarians that rock, even though they don’t let me eat in there and don’t give prizes to adults. I am happy I can walk or ride my bike there even though it closes on Sunday and Monday and early on Wednesdays and Fridays. I am happy it has great choices of books, magazines, and rooms to reserve, even though I sometimes have to ask them to borrow a book from Kansas on inter-loan library. I am happy it has all the "stuff" it has to offer for free, even though I pay my share of late fees, because I need help learning, teaching and being inspired ALL THE TIME!
But it doesn’t hurt to dream, does it?
Just like I am happy with where I am, but I can't stop dreaming about where I'm going, I am happy with my library, but oh . . . the possibilities!