Ever been in the stacks and had that feeling of being watched? Like a person is looking over your shoulder while you look through the cart trying to pick out the next easiest book to shelve? I often put off the cookbooks until the end, the last soldiers in the fight to be buried in the mass destruction that is the 641s. Why are old ladies so mean to that section?
Like old ladies? Here's some old places.
I often get that feeling of being watched, though. Maybe I am just jumpy. Maybe there's a bit of sense memory going on, a bit of the past reaching through my subconscious and touching my waking bits. Last time we shelved this book, it says, that kid started screaming. Watch out for children making noise now, my deep sleep brain says and puts me on edge.
Maybe certain books and sections of the library put off smells. The lady with too much perfume got on the American History section and now I am brought back to her gentle smile and low cut dresses. Again, my subconscious is a dark and dirty place where angels dare to tread. Not my fault when it makes connections deep in the stacks.
Maybe to all of that. Maybe the cold spots are ice sculptures!
More than likely, though, I am haunted by ghosts. The dead, drawn by the books in which their legacies are stored, flock to the library. By reading and sharing, the librarians are haunted by the ghosts of the community. As the global information sharing system has grown, so those ghosts are able to traverse the world in search of methods to tear their way into the corporeal world and enact a great and terrible vengeance.
And those of you smiling happy, contented smiles still thinking I am talking in metaphors: Go fuck yourselves. No quaint metaphor ever forced its way into my body attempting to kill a Korean War veteran that lives down the block on Maple Drive for what happened in a jungle 10,000 miles away. I still have nightmares where everyone speaks another language and the jungle crashes down around me in a napalm torrent of fire.
It's fucking terrifying and I want it to stop. I did not sign up for this hellish library existence. I just wanted everyone to read Tolkien, goddamn it, and when the Lord of the Rings movies came out I thought this library gig would be smooth sailing.
Then the disembodied spirits of a thousand Roman legionaries tore through the stacks, ripping down shelves and claiming everything for Pax Romana. I and the circulation staff still mourn the passing of Jeff, the reference staffer who attempted to reason with them. YOU DON'T REASON WITH APPARITIONS WITH JAVELINS, JEFF. You just don't. You just don't.
So for all of you with wispy thoughts of angelic choirs singing a heavenly host of memories into the light eternal, you can all go to hell. I want out of this hellhole, but I have no where else to go and too many student loan debts to just go live with my parents.
Bill Murray had it right: Send them all back to hell. I don't need this. Ghosts are shitty patrons.