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Biblio. Mania.

There are a thousand kinds of crazy.

That’s not nice, coming from a social worker who used to treat people with mental illness, but it is what it is.

Yesterday I stopped by the library to check out an impossible stack of books (it’s a phrase I’ve long used that has taken on particular meaning since I’m 9 months pregnant).  I wandered up to the fifth floor, looking for a couple books by Isabella Bird, and I noticed them, as usual:  the men whose brains are crazy. The ones who have worn plastic grocery bags lined one inside the other, filled with stubby pencils (no erasers) and a ream of  cryptic notes, decipherable only to themselves.

They’re men who sit at long tables in uncomfortable wooden chairs for hours with a singular kind of focus. Today, they’re fixated on quantum physics or advanced algebra. The next time I see them, they’ll be staring through thick, grimy bifocals, squinting at computer science books, making long lists of vocabulary words.

If I ever go crazy, I hope I’m like them: safe and calm and comforted by the library, surrounded by tall stacks of books, organized neatly into ordered rows.

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One response »

  1. damn. i’ve seen those guys all my life and never really heard anyone write about them.

    Reply

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