My Secret Shame (Thank you, Officer Scribble)

I am not a man of many secrets. I live a life that is not only audacious and boisterous but in fact obstinately public. I live, love, laugh, lust and libel openly.

So when I speak of my shames, they are few, and generally unspoken. But this one, perhaps, is the greatest shame of which I should speak openly, and it is time I owned up to it.

I live next to a library.

Now that gem of information, in itself, is not shameful.

I have lived next to this library since the tenth of May, last year. That means I have lived next door to a fountain of knowledge for four-hundred and fourty-seven days.

This also, is not embarrassing. If there were some sort of social stigma placed on our proximity to sources of profound wisedom many of my closest friends with extensive private book collections would by now be so shunned by the world at large that old ladies would spit on them in the grocery store.

No, the shame is this: I got my library card today.

I am ashamed of this, as well I should be. Upon getting my library card I discovered that our reference system (Pines) is badass. It not only allows me to discover how many copies of a book are available through my local library, but also register a hold against a book that is unavailable.

My reference system appears desperate to get me the book I want. It is so desperate that when the book returns, the library will set it aside with my name on it and then (if I ask) call my cell phone to notify me that my book has arrived.

These people are helpful to a point that hurts. I think if I asked nicely they might call me and read excerpts from my favorite tomes to me during my morning commute.

Even more shameful is that I did not set out today with the express purpose of gaining access to this magical place. Rather, I was trying to avoid having my license suspended.

Let me explain with this handy diagram.

I am a good driver. I got my first speeding ticket (ever) on the 3rd of July, while veritably flying towards Ft. Gaines, Georgia to meet up with some old and dear friends for a small get-together.

The Georgia State Patrol officer who was kind enough to pull me over was very helpful but his signature on the citation was illegible until I did a little digging. I am guessing, as a result of the very helpful Georgia Department of Public Safety website, that his name is SFC W. Marc Ellis (Armed with that information his signature appears to be "WMEllis". If not, it might be "wilmiEns", or "l\l/lllvEllls". It's hard to tell. Officers are rather like doctors in this regard).

Anyway, when I found the citation today (two days before I am (was?) to (GASP) appear in court) I called the office and they informed me that my one-hundred dollar lesson in velocity management could be mailed as a cashier's cheque or money order, but not as a personal cheque, to the local seat of judicial authority, etc.

So I trudged out my front door and across a couple of streets to the post office, first to purchase a money order and then to mail the citation and money order to Cuthbert.

It was only upon my return from the post office that my guilt at not having a library card overcame me and I ventured inside to secure one. I was literally 10 feet from the door when I made the decision.

So there, I am a pathetic excuse for a human being who wouldn't go more than 10 feet out of his way to secure access to a veritable cornucopia of human experience and beauty. Please don't tell anybody.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007