A girl and her cat take on the world with nothing more than a cup of tea and a good book and enough dreams to fill the universe.
Yesterday, we experienced a mini blizzard. I even decided to walk to school even though I knew that the cold and snow was coming. It wasn’t so bad at nine, there was hardly any wind and it was just a little nippy. Then I had to come home at noon. The snow was flying straight into my face so that I was forced to looked down at my feet and the white expanse that doesn’t differentiate between rock, ice, pavement or grass. It doesn’t even have the common decency to tell you when a car is coming. I made it as far as the public library, with snow collecting on my coat cuffs and creases before I decided to duck inside and warm up.
Not this guy though. He didn’t need books or heat. He’s too much of a badass.
I ended up spending over an hour chatting with the young adult section librarian. She was a college aged student much like myself and when I asked her what she could recommend, she didn’t have an answer. I found this rather alarming, but brushed it off. It was after I kept pestering her for more than “The Hunger Games seems pretty popular” that she finally came out behind her computer and desk and wandered the shelves with me. (We had already gone through the electronic catalogue and none of the required books for week 2 were even carried by the library.) She brought me to each section and told me the popular series, though she did tell me she was delighted that the number of kids checking out Twilight had significantly dropped off. We ended up discussing Harry Potter, R.L. Stine, and my closed librarian became an open book. When we found the Newbery section, suddenly all of the books on my list showed up. Here’s a secret: At Chadron Public Library, not all of their books are catalogued and therefore it seems they don’t have them. Don’t give up. The entire Newbery section was uncatalogued which may be saying something about the character of our town’s library. I thought this was absolutely crazy and that’s all I’ll say.
Disturbing and yet not that far off reality.
When I finally made it to my apartment, I found I had received a letter from France which really made my day brighter. My host family that lives in Lyon was wishing me a happy new year. Joyeux Annee!
So, I eventually went to bed around 3:45 because youtube sucks your soul and slept fitfully. My parents gave me a ride to work because I didn’t want to drive in the storm because, while I love my Buick and may share a story where we had an awesome adventure together, I didn’t want my day at work to begin with being late because I had to be pulled out of a snowdrift or slid on the ice and hit something. When my mom came to pick me up today, my own car, my lovely Buick named the Enterprise, had been towed. Who the hell toes cars between 10 PM and 7 AM anyway? Do you have nothing better to do than tow cars? There are no signs anywhere telling me I couldn’t park where I did (in front of my apartment) during a snowstorm or that it was an emergency snow route or whatever. NONE! And now my beautiful car is gone. Damn. And does my cat care about this? Wasn’t he supposed to be watching out for everything while I was at work? No. He just wants to be fed and he wants this to happen as soon as possible so he can go back to chewing his way through George R R Martin’s A Clash of Kings.
No signs like this anywhere. I didn’t even get notice about a parade until they had roped of the street and made it impossible for me to move my car without hitting their roadblocks.
On the bright side, I am almost done with Abarat and have everyone I work with interested in it as well. I think its because of Clive Barker’s crazy illustrations. That’s about as literary as I feel with all this cold and my missing car. Just a mild sense of pride at sharing books and becoming friends with a librarian.
Guess this is how I’m going to have to get to and from places now.
Well, I’m off to see about returning the mothership to her homeland. Wish me luck.
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Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller
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New York City based photographer STEFAN FALKE visits artists who live and work on both sides of the 2000 miles long U.S.- Mexico border to document the vibrant culture of the region for his ongoing project. All photos and texts © Stefan Falke (No use without written permission by the author)