I went to the library tonight. Rushed over and made it with 15 to spare. Tonight is the perfect night to be introduced to Chuck Palahniuk. I have his book, Snuff, on hold.
The librarian is one that I recognized. He was there last week.
He’s an older man, with grey hair. Thin like silk. I’ve never seen him smile.
He scans my books with smooth efficiency: lift, swipe, return, lower.
Last week, he didn’t ask if I wanted pay my late fines, like all the other librarians do.
He didn’t this week either.
On my way home, I walked through a park. It was wide, open and grassy, with people playing tennis at the courts in the distance. Off in the other far corner of the park are dogs. Maybe six or a dozen. Running running running, over the grass, around each other. Their people chatting in attendance. I want to walk over and join them but I don’t have a dog.
I spot a cute Daschund. I won’t say that word aloud because I don’t know how to pronounce it. I thought it was one way but recently have been hearing people say it another. And they say it with a confidence I can’t fake.
This particular Daschund is smallish and caramel. I saw him earlier, playing with a Jack Russell. They ripped around in circles so fast they were running diagonal.
I sat down in the opposite corner of the park, on top of a picnic table. The surface was rough, scuffed by keys carving initials. Dark green paint peeling.
The Daschund’s owner is a man, 30s? Looks tallish in the distance. Brown hair, navy sweater. Jeans. He's holding a red leash.
The clouds are turning pink and my face is tilted up to the sky, watching.
It takes them a long time to walk by. I keep turning to look but it’s the dog I’m interested in.
My phone rings and it’s a number I don’t recognize. I think it might be my friend Stephanie, I just sent her a text from the park.
It’s a telemarketer. He’s conducting… research… that’s… on behalf… of. I can’t remember. I wait for him to ask me a question so that I could answer with: No thank you, I’m not interested.
But he doesn’t. Not in the first two paragraphs of his script, anyway. He paused in-between but I was still waiting for the question he didn't ask. He continued.
I’m having a good day so I ask if he could just. Call me some other time.
He drops. Like, tom…orrow?
Yeah okay sure, I say.
His voice drifts away as if lost in another thought. He sounds like a real person now.
Okay thanks. Bye.