A Footnote (20.07.2002)
In what later became a notorious media event, librarian Marvin S________ was found to be breeding bookworms in the library’s basement. When questioned by authorities, Mr S________ declared:
It is for the cause of science; and if I am permitted to advance the light of understanding even one inch against the dark of ignorance, my efforts shall not have been in vain. Them little buggers were my life’s work, and I could not allow anything to stop me.
It took exterminators three weeks to rid the building of the infestation. More than 17,000 volumes are believed to have been destroyed by Mr S________’s bookworms, including the library’s copies of rare works such as Q. Tavail’s Amores (with Hedgehog) and L. P. Flackeray’s On the Sketchy Side.
Mr S________’s lawyers have informed us that the results from this research will be published in the journal Science.
Finally it became a matter of principle, this standing about doing nothing. I watched and waited and wondered when the flies would land, when the process of decay would become incontrovertible. The inexplicability of it almost startled me; but it was, I think, beautiful.
23 July 2002
Wednesday, 24 July 2002
They live on the top floor of the house on the corner; there are windows on two sides of their apartment, and the roof slants steeply. They have no balcony. He has long, dark blond hair, which he usually wears in a ponytail. He is in his early thirties and works in a shop, selling knickknacks with an African theme. He looks as though he might drink wheat-grass juice. He drives a rust-colored car, probably an Opel. The car is parked in a vacant lot across the street from their apartment.
She is his girlfriend, or his wife. She is roughly the same age and height as he is, skinnier, with short, dark hair. She likes to wear black tank-tops, dark jeans, and boots. During thunderstorms they lean out the window together and watch the rain. She clings to him and plays with his hair. She is pregnant.
They own a puppy. It is a slightly more vivid rust-color than the car. It will not be a large dog. When they unlock the street door, they take the puppy off its leash. It pees against the building before following them inside. The leash is blue and patterned; the pattern is too small to see from my window.