Melissa R. is on PC#14, her thick and lustrous red hair done up in a brioche, wearing a thrift store Vargas Girl outfit of her own devise. PC #15 is occupied by a muscle-bound brute in a tank top signed in as JAZMANN. Tattooed onto the back of his shaved and shining head: Melissa’s King.

Melissa and Jazmann have brought 4 little girls with them, playing hide & go seek in the stacks. Now Melissa is sitting in Jazmann’s lap, his arms around her as he finishes his work on-line and gives her a squeeze. The children gather round, pleading to go outside.

The HOLD button is blinking–Penelope, working at the Mother Ship– waiting for Jane. Mindy, the new Community Service college girl, is also waiting for instructions from Jane. But Gordy has all Jane’s attention, dealing with Circulation SNAFUs. He stands there with his clipboard in his funeral director’s outfit, gravely nodding, nodding, nodding again. Dispatching with Gordy, Jane swiftly deals with Penelope and Mindy, then turns her full attention to me.

“Bob, I want you to tell me something,” says Jane, looking me in the eye.

Oh crap, I’m busted, is what I’m thinking. But for what?

“I need to know if you understand that e-mail I sent out to everybody. The one about transferring items when Main is closed? Where will library Holds be sent?”

“Pleasant Valley Branch?” I said, hazarding a guess.

“Yes!” Jane exclaims, high-fiving me, if you can imagine that little bowling-ball of a woman doing anything so athletic.

Then it’s time to check the Men’s Room, where I discover Vic and Nick talking about last night’s Trump vs Clinton Presidential debate. Based on Hilary’s debate performance, she seems certain of victory.

Vic:    It’s gonna be like Nixon when he said, ‘You’re not going to have me to kick around anymore.’ Can you imagine how he felt? How humiliated, to say something like that.

Bob:    That was the first televised presidential debate. And now it’s a circus.

Nick:    I wasn’t even born then.

Vic:    You’re not gonna have me to kick around anymore, Nixon said, and then he comes back a few years later and wins in a landslide. But with Trump, whether he wins or loses, we’re going to have him the rest of our lives!

R.R. from the Mother Ship is visiting lately, but is rarely seen. Somewhere out in the stacks, speed-weeding the law books and reference collection, filling up boxes with discards.

“Maybe two days worth of boxes in the back room,” R.R. says, in passing, on his way out the door. “And, uh, I found a guy sleeping back there. Stretched out on the floor behind some empty boxes. Sound asleep.”

R.R. smiled. In these stressful times of deconstruction, a rare event. Buttoned up R.R, he of the robotic posture and Aspy social skills, smiling.