Sometimes I wish there were a bed at the library. In a corner, out of the way. Or not a bed exactly, but something bedlike. A pile of cushions would do. A place set up for a drowse. For half an hour. Or twenty minutes should be enough. The length of a tea break. Time to lie and think, and drift upwards and out over the rooftops, to a green and warm place.
I’ll set my alarm so I don’t outstay the welcome.
No one will come over and poke me with their toe, and tell me that you can’t sleep in the library because it’s a government building. Because it’s municipal. No-no-no. They’ll leave me alone.
Leave me alone.
The security guard will tiptoe past, smiling to himself, his shoe-leather creaking. Twirling his baton. So content, he starts to whistle a tune from the shows, then quickly realises. Oops. Quiet. Don’t want to wake him.
In that corner over there would be an ideal place. Well away from the noise of children and their carers and the clunky garish cardboard books their fingers stick to. Far far away from the front door. At the back, near the low-traffic area where the XYZs of large-print are shelved. Where it’s dim and grey, and that fluorescent lamp’s been plinking and flickering forever. Where it smells of damp sandbox, and it’s quiet.
Feather-like cushions, big and plump, with thick corded covers. And not just the cushions, but a throw too. A queen-sized throw, of very soft cotton. Old and faded, with loose threads at the edges. I’ll sink into the cushions, and I’ll pull the throw over my head and smell its memories. Do not disturb, please. For twenty minutes, I’ll lie here, and do not disturb.