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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Stacks

Desert heat in the Midwest. The Summer sun sears the very breath from my lungs. Ribs bruised from the previous nights strain heave beneath the pressure. Nausea rises from the pit of my stomach. Acid hovers at the base of my throat' just low enough to feel like a shot of Jack from the wrong direction. Intestines threaten to empty their acidic contents onto the dashboard of my car. What I wouldn't give for some relief. The lake twinkles in the back of my mind. The gas light flashes warning the tank is emptier than my pockets. Where to go?

So many decisions to be made, but my body revolts against reason. I just can't think when I feel like my insides are falling out. When was the last time I ate? Have to remember to eat. Not right now. What little there is in my stomach is trying to jump out. Okay mind over matter, if you don't mind it doesn't matter. A twinge of pain in my ribs. It lasts just long enough to feel like a dagger sliding in and out.I have to find somewhere to cool off and hydrate or when anyone finds my body it'll be days in the hospital with IVs .
Maybe a restaurant? Free AC. No, fast food places lack outlets for junk laptops to be plugged in and right now finding a way to make up for gas funds is the priority.

That's when I saw it. Rising from the ground it's looming three story brick frame beckoning me through the doors. Like the arms of a mother to a wounded child, The Public Library. Walking through the double glass doors I felt like a kid again. The old familiar smell like Grandma's Attic filled with hidden treasures waiting to be discovered, wrapped its fingers around my mind. The book covers looked at me from the shelves. Long forgotten Friends, new lovers, mysteries, travels, worlds as yet unknown to me. The colors and textures reached out to me as they had in childhood, "Let us be your friends. We will never let you down.".

How many days had I skipped Algebra 1 and that hideous blob of a teacher to wander among these stacks? After practices and duties I would hide among them, enjoying their company until close. The Greats, the little known, the narratives, all still here. So I find myself once again lost amongst the magic. Only this time I am not a child. While tempted to curl up in the old wicker chair and read The Workings of Poe for the thousandth time, I will instead write.

Here in the safety of the only friends who have been with me my entire life, I will aspire to join their names. One day maybe a wide eyed little girl will escape the world in the arms of my pages. Maybe one day a teenager will walk through the world of my mind to escape the bitter reality of the world in which we live. Maybe one day a two time Divorcee who is struggling to fill the gas tank to make it to work, dying inside because of the innocent casualties of bad marriages, and suffering from heat exhaustion will walk in and smile will take the place of worry at the comforting familiarity of my name.

I write because I have to. Only so many movies can through the mind at one time. A heart can only hold so much emotion, I write to release. I Read because the stacks are the arms that have held me since I was a child. (c)R.M.Brandon 2012

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