Maybe my mom is right, and one
day, I’m about to outgrow
my social anxiety and “come out
of my shell” (the main project
of my ninth grade teachers).
But I think it’s happening–
I’m at the circulation desk
and a crowd of human voices,
are coming all at once, reciting their
biographies as they drop books
on the desk and I didn’t turn into
a deer in highlights. My social battery
is still full. My eyes are absorbing
their light, their extroversion. I may
really like people, I don’t mind that the phone
won’t stop ringing and the trainee wants
to make a comment. A man says
here’s the thing about Donald Trump though,
another grumbles, “kids these days”,
then it’s I’ve been waiting for this book
for days, then I just want to let you know my taxes
pay for this library so refund the 85 cents
the printer took from me, the trainee
has another question, let me tell you
what I think of Syrian refugees,
let me tell you how Jesus is the man, my sista,
did you know you come from an African queen?
my mother came here from Italy in 1903,
this book will change your life,
do you know anything about filing taxes?
Can you take a look at my W2?
this book has the real truth about Jesus,
this book was horrible,
I’m tired of you white people,
Is October 12 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day?
Sorry I don’t talk to minorities,
WHERE’S THE NEAREST URGENT CARE?
Do y’all have a typewriter I can use?
I shouldn’t have to pay for overdue fees
because the sex scenes in Deadpool offended me,
why do you allow this filth in the library,
we need your time sheet if you wanna get
paid this Friday, you didn’t fill out a sick
leave slip for the seventh, the computer
won’t let me print,
copy and paste,
print a Youtube video,
that library card account with the overdue
fees isn’t for me, that’s my cousin’s
(with the same name, birthday, address…)
no, actually you can get Ebola from touching
someone’s hand, I know these things,
Let me speak to the manager you don’t
Know what you’re talking about/you’re lying
okay do you have this book instead,
can you double check if it’s really gone,
the trainee has another question…
–Never mind, y’all need to go home now.
Note: Based on a true story, all three years of working at a library in prose.