The Chehalis Library
A Short Tale for You
I am sitting here with my cat on my lap, reaching over her, pushing her paws back from the keyboard, thinking all is right with the world.
This morning, I drove the back way through Napavine, up to the library. It was one of those beautiful late summer mornings, just getting warm but with a light cool breeze that makes you think you could anything.
Walking up to the building, I came through the entrance and into the main room, soaking up the architecture and layout and enjoying seeing the number and variety of the people sitting and wandering around. I didn’t see you but did say howdy to Mike.
At the front desk, the counter person reminded me greatly of a scriptwriter, I lived with briefly years ago. My old flame was very effusive, I believe is the word, and I was remembering the good parts, but enough of that.
The woman at the counter was very professional. She acted like she had taken requests for a book from outside the Timberland system a thousand times and was very efficient about it. Although she did have somewhat curly hair that looked like it would bounce freely if she went horseback riding.
Another librarian came out to help and took care of the occasional customer who came to the desk.
After my request was taken care of, I asked about the Beatrice bust by the front door.
Her eyes seemed to light up a little, at my interest. Perhaps, because it wasn’t the usual question. She explained who Beatrice was and how the library got the busts. There wasn’t anyone waiting so she launched into the story of Beatrice and Dante. She was very constrained and I doubt anyone five feet away would’ve noticed how taken she was with the tale. At one point, she cupped her cheek in her hand and tilted her head, at another held her hand by her chest in an expression of emotion, and at one point held her fist to her breastbone at an emotive moment. I don’t know if she even realized how expressive she was being. When she started, I was smiling because it was a touch out of character in my somewhat limited experiences with librarians. But by the time she was finished with her brief tale, I had a tear in my eye. I told her what a sad story it was and left.
By the time I got back to the car, I was smiling again and feeling very fortunate that I had made this trip. I am guessing that I will remember the two hours or so for quite some time. If I’m lucky. I will even figure out a way to get it into the story I have been writing for the last year.
I’ve got to thank you for talking me into going there. I would like to go back but I am not sure I want to break the spell that it cast on me.