Thursday, December 30, 2010
Ode to the NOPL - the library where I frequent my days for peace and quiet and where I can get my writing done.
Yesterday, I noticed a woman who also attends the NOPl and, because I'm there so much, she's become rather familiar. She works at the table next to me and I've become fascinated by her activities. I assume she is working on a project like mine but I have begun to learn otherwise. She grabs giant volumes of the yellow pages that are stashed in the reference sections of the library and reads them with her finger with extreme intent. Every hour or so, she jumps up excitedly and pulls out a camera to photograph particular pages she fancies. She stands on a chair and snaps a shot with her digital camera, and then returns to reading the ads. Sometimes she even pulls out a device that appears to be able scan entire pages. As she does this, she gloats with enormous glee.
I'm unsure what she's doing, but she's ambitious and devoted. She spends just as much time as me at the NOPL , but she has a man who checks on her from time to time to see if she's ready to go. She is always resistant and finds enormous pleasure in the documents she peruses. I don't have anyone checking up on me.
In I HEART HUCKABEES, I was introduced to the concept of coincidences. I can't help but think that this woman is quite the coincidence for me. As I scan my documents to make sense of the data I collected over the last year, I wonder if she thinks I'm as strange as she appears to me. I don't know where her labor is taking her but I feel as though I've found a sister amongst the stacks of books. She takes photographs of bathtubs and phone numbers, while I sort through perspectives taught to me by the young African male English language learners in my study. Each of us are odd birds, I suppose, and I am thankful of the karma she brings. I hope she accomplishes her project faster than I do. Something tells me that her work is tremendously more important to her world than the one I'm envisioning for my own.