Melinda told me this story at the end of the day, lying on our couch, feet in my lap. I often suggest it would be a good paint her toenails position, but she refuses.

Melinda had volunteered to spend a Saturday venturing out into the community with our Bookmobile- an ancient gray whale. I had imagined that she would come back with horror stories about Nursing homes or projects but instead she came home with this:

We pulled up to this little elementary school parking lot and all sorts of people came over. They had been waiting in cars or on bikes so I guess they knew the schedule. Everyone lined up and it was nicer than I had thought it would be-pleasant; polite actually. I was talking to an older gentleman about a Tom Clancy book he was looking for when these two odd looking girls came in kind of stared at me. They were dressed in black T-shirts and grey cargo pants and had Cleopatra eye make-up. (The driver said they were "Goth" but I don't really know about that....)

One of the girls elbowed the other one who walked over to me and whispered something. I didn't catch it, so I asked her to repeat it- do you have any Emily Dickinson? It's for school 'n stuff... She looked really embarrassed, so I just nodded my head and walked her over to the small poetry section of the van. She fished a library card out of her plastic Space Ghost purse and stomped out (she was wearing black army boots, can you believe that?).

I turned around and was stunned to see her friend was still standing there, doing her best imitation of someone pretending to be invisible. "Can I help you?" I asked, and her eyes squinted and she looked around to see if anyone was watching. She took a half step towards me and did the quiet voice thing also:

Lolita, you know, the teacher who screwed the little girl book, you got that? Shoved hands in pockets, eyes focused on her own set of boots.

I knew we didn't take it out on trips like this because it was so controversial. I told her it was in the main branch only. "Any thing else?" (I really thought she would just, you know, walk away)

Well, do you have anything like that-you know, old and serious, but sexy? I could see she was earnest, and also that she was more embarrassed about the old and serious part than the other. I thought for a minute, then lead her to some D.H. Lawrence-"Try this-if you don't like it, you can talk to me next time." She pulled out a card that looked as though it had been left in the dryer several times, scribbled her name and left. Five seconds later, she stuck her head back in the van long enough to catch my eyes- thanks, OK? then she ran off. So, that was my day. Different, don't you think?

Well, M, I have to ask, does this mean you are going to make bookmobile a regular thing? Well, maybe, just to talk to the girls, maybe they can explain this Goth thing to me. I don't know...maybe.

Just give me your neck sweet girl, I can explain everything...*whap* pillow to face leads to wrestlemania.

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