Monday, 21 September 2009
10:50:31 PM (GMT)
This is just like a Kirti's Mind Theater, and I seriously debated calling it that.
But the following events are %100 true, it's just the way I interpret
it that is pure fiction. You'll see what I mean. Role Janet's Mind Theater!
*Projector displays numbers counting backwards*
Before going any further, you should all know something about the Middle School
Library. It was a lovely library. Plenty of places to work, even some small places to
talk to friends, and some equally small librarians to tell you not to do so, thus
making it more fun. The nonfiction section had many a unread book, which I was
allowed to take out for months at a time because only I bothered looking at them.
Despite some parents attempts to get rid of it, there was a large fantasy section of
the library. It was a good place.
What was not so good was the manga section. The librarians were lovable, even when
they tried to shoo us bookworms out for being too loud. And they all look the same,
or nearly the same. To reflect this, they all had the same view on manga, or nearly
the same. They didn't really know what it was. They didn't know how important it
could be. They liked the manga-readers, they liked nearly everyone (except the people
who bullied the noisy bookworms), but they didn't seem to get that for some people,
manga was all they could read. They did their best, but the manga section was
critically under stocked, filled with many a volume two with no volume one, American
graphic novels, and corny shounen. And we despaired.
But in grade eight, when we were all preparing our schedules to enter the high
school, glimmers of hope appeared. Rumors spread, quiet and calm, whispered among the
shelves, of people traveling to the High School, and seeing their library. Of seeing
thousands of books... And hundreds of Manga.
Instantly, a legend formed. If we couldn't stand the suspense, but the volume we
needed wasn't stocked in our library, then that means it must be at the High
At last, a time came when I could see the Greater Library. I was only
passing through while on my way to a meeting about a possible course I might take as
a freshman, but even in the brief meeting, the room was huge. And I knew, I had to
come back as soon as I could.
A week and a half into school, I finally went back into the famed place, flanked
by friends old and new. We talked, and laughed as we entered, but our hearts
fluttered. Yet I did not go to the manga section. What I dearly wanted to do, was be
top of my class in biology again. So leaving my friends at some tables to do
homework, I ventured alone into the nonfiction section.
Once I passed the first segment of the first row of shelves, I noticed a change.
I was the only one in the nonfiction section, so it was already much quieter, the low
hum of happy readers dimmed. But what else did I notice? Well, for one thing, the
library was much bigger then I had first thought. Furthermore, the Dewey decimal
system seemed slightly off. I had never been good with it to begin with, but
different hundreds were on shelves directly over one another. It didn't make sense.
Undaunted, I skipped through the aisles in search of the Life Science section.
Could it be in the second row in, third to the right? No, no, that's China. Hang on,
why is there China, but no Japan? Ah, wait, here's Japan, on the next shelf. A
short, thick, yellow book caught my eye, along with a taller blue one, and one tht
was unbound and green. Japan in Pictures, Modern Tokyo, Through
Japanese Eyes. I grabbed the latter and continued on my quest.
I dropped off my book where my friends were sitting and said "Well, I haven't
found biology yet, but I've got this," Jess and Greg leaned in to read the title out
loud. Lessa, a junior I'd met through Cross Country offered to help me find it. I
waved her off, saying I wanted to find my own way around. Shrugging, she returned to
her own book.
Perhaps, a grid search pattern would be the quickest way? First shelf in, first
on the right... Oh, American Revolution. Well okay, next down is... The Civil war.
Alrighty, after that is... China? Hang on, that was two shelves over! Well, wait,
there's no Japan here, maybe there are two China sect- Hang on, here's Japan,
there's Modern Tokyo, but what happened to Japan in Pictures?
Slightly worried, I left that section, and my arm knocked over an over
decorated book on India. Deciding that starting my grid over would be best, I
returned to the first shelf, which of course contained books on the Spanish
Inquisition. Now wait a second, I knew that wasn't right. I moved through the
shelves, returning to the same sections on different shelves, finding books missing.
Each time I found a book that looked interesting I'd leave and put it on the table,
commenting about how I couldn't find biology. The pile grew.
Mastering Magic one hundred tricks of the greatest magicians, "Huh. I
wonder where Biology is."
Shorter Atlas of the Bible, "I'm sure the shelf I found this on
was about obesity a moment ago,"
The Marvels of Animal Behavior, "Well I must be getting close
Gay Rights on Trial, "Or not. I think this place is enchanted." Jess and
Lessa's exclamations over my selections faded as I reentered.
Stem Cells, "I thought for sure this would be it..."
On Death and Dying was the last book to be slammed onto the pile. "Does
this school even have a bio section? And where'd all those other books go?"
This question was met with shrugs, and insurances that I alone was nerdy enough to go
into the nonfiction section of my own accord. I had been alone.
"You know you can't check books out yet, right?" I hadn't, "Well, it's worth a
shot," I said, with feigned nonchalance, and lugged my books to the check out desk.
Eyeing my stack the librarian at the desk said "Are you working on..." she looked
closer, "...something? Oh hang on; you're Marge’s sister aren't you? She
comes here a lot. She usually just gets fantasy though. And manga. I worked at your
elementary school, remember? I only just transferred last year, still finding my way
around. Lets see... Well technically you can't take books out just yet, but I rather
doubt these'll be missed," Ah, some things never change, "and you already have three
over due books from last year... Well, I bet you'll return them. Here you are then."
In a daze, I returned to the table with my loot and told my friends that they
were due back on the thirtieth. With them agape, we left the enchanted library.
None of that was made up. It wasn't even exaggerated.