“be right back”

sshot4cbec224d6ed1A few weeks ago, I found myself downtown with a free hour in between appointments. I brought my work bag into the library and took a seat at one of the tables in the loft beside the non-fiction stacks.

Non-fiction is my favorite place to get lost in the library, and in life, but I only allowed myself a few moments in the 300s before sitting down to work.

I pulled out my day book and some materials that I had to review and sunk in, only to realize a short time later that I needed to pee, which in this particularly library is a pain in the a##–because the only public facility for this entire three-floored building, is down a hall, past a row of offices, through a heavy fire door, up a switchback flight of stairs, through another heavy fire door, and down another long hall, past the children’s room, and out into the upstairs lobby, which will set off the alarm, if you have any unchecked books in hand.

I didn’t feel like packing up all my stuff again, and lugging it along with me to the bathroom, but I also didn’t want to loose this coveted spot–at a table with an outlet and a view of the town and Mt. Wantastiquet. Still, I was concerned about leaving all my personal books behind because this library specifically asks patrons to leave behind the books they read on the tables so that they can count them and then put them away in their proper places.

So I rummaged through my bag for a set of sticky notes, and found one in faded yellow upon which I wrote the words, “Be right back,” and stuck it to my pile.

Later, when it was time to leave for my next appointment, I forgot to remove the note; and when I got home that evening, and saw it again, it made me chuckle.

Each night after, when I closed my daybook, I re-read the words: “Be right back,” and I left the note there, amused by life’s cleverness–reminding me, to come back, to myself, at another time.

Finally, last night, the note fell off on its accord, having lost all its stickiness.

It may be time to purchase one of those storefront signs to wear around my neck.

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