Contemporary Creative Nonfiction Speculative

    I have begun to feel although 1984 has come and gone, much like the millennium fright our computers experienced, it has lasting implications that, like my dog, having left the confines of our algae laden pond, attempting to rid himself of the unwanted associations he has inadvertently befriended, refuse to remain unmemorable. No matter the amount of his nervous revolutions, he cannot free himself, from not only the memory of, but the physical aspects related to the experience.

    I find myself relating to his experience more of late. Being bombarded daily, now that we are only seven months from our next election with advertisements of those wishing to deal the next round of future possibilities, telling me why I should endorse their prophetic rants, I can’t find my adequate nervous revolutions as well.

    Only they can prevent the mental fog having to do with life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. They assure me of what they can do for me, but not for us. I have begun to hate them already and the lawn flowers and bumper stickers have as yet to sprout, regardless of spring assumptions of rain and subsequent renewal.

    The problems are not exclusive to me, you, but us. We, although individuals, belong to a network of individuals, who share a similar experience having to do with a semblance of happiness tied to our ability to survive on varied levels of want and need.  

    I found an old out of print book written by Ainsworth Angel- Berry. Most of the book had succumbed to mold associated with basements, not the optimal place to store books unless you wish to lessen the burden on landfills or have a close affinity to the closeness of an unused shelf in the cellar next to the paint you can no longer remember having purchased or for what reason.

    It being the usual torrential rainy day, I decided to rummage through my closet to find my rain coat, put on my goulashes, a term no longer used, but that I find more socially acceptable than rubbers, and head to the pinnacle of almost all knowledge, our public library.

    Ms. Kerns: I don’t know if it is even legal to call a public official by their first name or not, so I mentally refer to her as Miss Kerns, which I can only hope covers all the socially acceptable connotation of being politically correct, while maintaining a sense of familiarity. 

    Ms. Kerns, although she may be married, and should be prefaced by a Mrs. form, but not knowing and feeling it inappropriate to ask, it being none of my concern as far as checking out knowledge, I take the less complicated path and refer to her simply as, Ms.

    She can be found most days searching her computer screen for the most recent, have to have books. Although I hate to disrupt a person on a mission, it is after all, her reason for employment, and so must expect minor interruptions, hopefully ones of merit. 

    “Ms.… I was hoping you might allow me to make use of your extensive knowledge of books and inquire as to your familiarity with this book by Ainsworth…”

    “My God man, where you get that thing. Smells like road kill. What you doing with that? You ain’t one of those homo-less types that hang around outside waitin for someone to reach for their keys, and end up emptying their pockets of loose change? Happened to me just the other day, two dimes and a nickel. They was scooped up faster than a pigeon on a Ramadan fast. I wasn’t about to lower myself by chasing them down the street just so I could feed the cities meter, that only god knows what they do with that extortion money.”

    I find ignoring and ignorance, although similar in appearance are different in what they insinuate. Nonetheless I find ignoring the ignorant at times, make life slightly more manageable. Although I attempt not to judge people as I have no idea of what life experience they may have been faced to endure, I do have personal parameters. She had crossed so many in such a short period of time, I nearly reverted to stooping to her level to better be able to communicate my needs. I managed to calm myself, and retain a modicum of self-control I expect civilized creatures to aspire to.    

    “I don’t think it’s legal to bring things like that in here. This is a public building. We have rules about eating and smoking within a reasonable distance from the front door, any door really. I can only guess that that, whatever it is, can’t come in here.”

    “Ms.… I only wish to inquire if you would have in your establishment any material by one Ainsworth Angel-Berry? This book was published in 1920 at the beginning of that cancerous period in our history, when government became subservient to corporate interests at the expense of the common man. I remember reading this example of what investigative reporting used to encompass. All I ask is that you check your…your screen, to see if its electronic memory can possibly locate either here, or somewhere in the universe, other material written and published by Mr. Angel-Berry.”

    “You say this guy is an Angel? I can tell you right up front, with all my experience, and my access to electronic memories as you refer to Mabel, that we do not, nor have we ever, had a book written by an Angel. Now we do have books written my Saints, Gods, some who claim to be the Devil’s messenger, but Angels, no. You should try the museum; they keep creepy stuff like that in a special place over there I’ve heard. Never been there myself, so you’ll have to ask for yourself.”

    “Would you happen to have a section where research material pertinent to my search may be kept? I’m sure Mable could aid you in your search, if she is not too busy with other important matters of the day.”

    “Look man, I ain’t givin you no more info until you get that thing out of here. You are startin to scare the customers, and you ain’t supposed to be doing all this talkin in here anyway. People can’t think when they are being disturbed, read either.”

    I normally don’t shrink from obstinance, but in some cases you realize that no matter how hard and long you pound your head on a brick wall, it will not develop empathy regardless of importance or need. 

    Despite the continued tornadic conditions here, as well as outside, and my lack of an umbrella, I am going to return to my dry and warm place of residence, return this masterpiece of social justice to its place of previous encampment, until I can find a more suitable place, once the smell has dissipated, to keep it in the honored place which it deserves.

     I am going to write a letter to the Library Association of Libertyville about my recent experience with one of their employees, who I might add, is a representative of the community at large, a Ms. … no use to include names, rather gauche in my opinion; they will understand the focus of my concern, by my reiteration of events and subsequent outcome.  

April 16, 2022 19:24

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