Friday, 14 March 2008

It was on the library steps

George’s sister did enjoy Saturdays. He knew that much because it was his one day of respite, the day when she wouldn’t be on the telephone whining about her boss.

He’d never imagined that a job at the library could be the source of so much angst. Since Evelyn had started working there, he had been railroaded into thinking about libraries far too often. It seemed obvious to George that a career as a librarian would be attractive to someone with obsessive tendencies; that urge to order the world neatly, to be constantly tidying away the returned books or to making neat piles out of the ones on reserve, irresistible. Obsessive as she was, Evelyn was more interested in buffing her nails than the bookshelves and kept a nail file and bottle of emergency polish under the counter at her position on the ‘Books Out’ section.

And then there was Molly, a failed academic who even spent her lunch hours stroking the spines of her favourite classics. She wore flowery, homemade dresses that hung stiffly around her mottled legs which would rise up as she reached to the top shelf. But she was safe. The boss, Adam, had a little obsession of his own and it wasn’t Molly; she was ignored.

Unfortunately for Evelyn, it was not the usual Saturday; Adam was working. He kept sliding past her swivel chair, winding his arms around her to reach the date stamp or borrow a pen just so that he could look down her top. He had dirty fingernails, the breath of a sewer outlet , a thick layer of dandruff on his shoulders and damp yellow patches around his armpits.

At the end of the day, it was on the library steps that she decided it was time for a divorce.