Saturday, June 13, 2009
Paid In Full
It’s not easy living with a price on your head. You begin to see and hear things in the shadows - footsteps in the mist. One begins to second-guess even the smallest of decisions. Gentle Reader, that was my existence up until this very afternoon.
“I owe a debt.” I said to the woman who politely smiled. Did I see a sultry curve to the corner of her lip? I couldn’t be too sure but I knew this woman held the keys to my future. I passed her my identification.
“Let me see…” she said investigating my credentials. She scanned my bar code. “That will be $1.70.”
“A dollar seventy?” I asked.
“$1.70?!” My wife yelled at me from the next terminal over. “Gallant returns her Library books on time – Goofus does not.” I knew from the tone of her voice just how and to whom the titles of “Gallant” and “Goofus” had been assigned.
I flashed her a smile and paid my fine. My debt to society satisfied I took out a couple of Jazz CDs (Coltrane & Gillespie/Parker) and a Neil Gaiman book, “American Gods”.
I tell you this story as a precautionary tale. It’s not easy to live life with a price on your head. The librarian spies are everywhere. Be mindful where you step and try to remember where you left that overdue book.
Don’t become a statistic.