The Real World ... Blogger Style: Libraries saved my life

Monday, April 11, 2005

Libraries saved my life

Oh, library--hospital for broken hearts
hospital for just plain broke
since I was a child, since I was a child you have provided sanctuary--you yourself, and your books, a world containing worlds.
Goddamn, library, I would sacrifice any amount of overdue fees to you
because you open your arms to me
I'd spin in the stacks as a child and grab whatever book my fingers hit
and crawl in and live there
where my stepmother couldn't find me, where all the moves, all the anxiety, all the blank boring days of New Mexico heat, all the rainy days, all the days, all the days where the bottom fell out of the world, all the days of just plain fear, you were there
hot days you'd give me snow and ice. crowded days you'd give me quiet.
You gave me books when I was so broke I couldn't look in the mirror
you gave me books in spite of my sins (I stole a book from you, in High School, "Breakfast at Tiffany's"--I tore up the card from the card catalogue, I knew no GI would love it as much as I did) you gave me books that gave me lives
you gave me Uncle Kurt when I was close to unzipping my wrists and couldn't find the words and couldn't believe that I would survive and you gave me Hank Miller when my love went dry, and you gave me Bukowski when I needed spit in the eye...
You are so generous, library. I can take as many books as I can carry.
I can spend all day in you.
You don't cost a thing.
You are my first beloved.
You are my favorite institution.
You harbor angels.
And trust that nothing that has been written or spoken
ever turns completely to dust.