It’s late at the library, where nothing ever happens in the hours that I’m here. Which would be, if this was a different sort of report, the perfect scenario for something unusual to occur. Someone would come to the front desk and demand that I open the register—we don’t have a register, no one pays their fines with cash—or screams would be heard from somewhere deep within the stacks. Of course, I’m grateful that neither of those things are happening—it’s almost 11 pm and I’d rather be in bed. I don’t want any complications. It’s hard enough to work at the library from the hours of 10 pm to 12 am, even if I’m being paid a nice hourly rate. Before I came to work here tonight, I thought that would make an interesting topic—the fact that nothing happens—but now that I’m here, and tired as well as bored, I have to admit that I don’t quite see the appeal. Instead, I spy on the patrons. There’s a couple working on the computers near the front desk. Earlier, they had a disagreement, a mild one but without resolution. They were arguing about a math problem—one, the man, thought he had the solution, and might have, but was talking over the woman, and with condescension. Though in a light, friendly voice—which must have made things even worse. But it was obvious, from the outside, that even if she didn’t understand, she mostly wanted to be heard. And to understand. He was impatient to rush her to the finish line. Complicated by the fact that is so late at night, and he was also impatient to leave. But the solution to the math problem—if he even had it—was not whatever it was he was expressing to his partner. It was something else, something he’d entirely missed. They said nothing to each other for the last ten minutes they were here. Stared at their phones, their computers off. And then I heard him say, “Let’s get out of here.” And it was only reluctantly that she got up to leave. 

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