Reading, taking SATs, even deciphering CliffsNotes, frighten Mike. After sampling college and doubting its usefulness, he tries working at a YMCA camp for inner city youth only to come running back to finish his art degree.
The opening to “Reading:”
For me, libraries are the anti-comedy mausoleums of all time. There’s nothing fun or funny about them, only the smell of moldy books and requests out of nowhere by tragic-looking bibliophiles, asking me to hush up. I get a nasty chill the moment I enter one of these soundless halls held aloft by stacks of dusty manuscripts. I wouldn’t be in one today except that I’m trying to get a date with Ginny, one of the librarians. If all goes well, I may ask her to watch jet engines take off at the airport with me, or go to the gun range and shoot off a few rounds.
I met Ginny yesterday for the first time when she came into the greenhouse where I work looking for tips on growing herbs. Impressed with her cheerful nature and fantastic smile, I asked where she worked – maybe I could drop by to see her. She said the Meem Library on the campus of St. John’s College here in Santa Fe. That spelled trouble immediately, knowing I might have to communicate with her by whispering, miming, or using braille.
Already stressed out from being in this fancy-carpet catacomb for only ten minutes today, I look around everywhere to find her, but only spot mummified students strewn out on musty couches. Feeling conspicuous, I pretend to look for a book, when suddenly, out from behind the stacks, Ginny appears. I take a stoic reading pose and seize the first hardback handy, Quantum Physics: From Atoms to Immortality to Zero-Point Fields. Peeking from around the book’s pages, I see she’s walking my way. I vow to be quiet. I’ll let her say the first thing to break the ice.
She walks right past me.
Note: I am currently seeking representation for my book. Please see my contacts page for how to get hold of me.