I've been in Dutch with my library for several months now. They say that I didn't return an activities workbook for Little House on the Prairie. I've repeatedly searched my office and my former apartment, and I say that I did. The checkout machine flashed an ominous red when I tried to pretend like this wasn't happening, and the library staff yelled at me in Korean and crossed their forearms in the "no" sign. After a while, I grew weary. No way I was gonna win this one. Last fall, in an effort to get my checkout privileges back, I offered to pay for the book: "Ego ulmaeyo?" I asked, taking out my wallet. More yelling and crossed arms and fierce expressions. Perhaps they thought it was a bribe.
Forget you, Library, I thought, or words to that effect. I don't need your...books. But who was I fooling? No library loot for several months was starting to make Bybee a very unhappy girl.
Feeling moody, I wandered into the stacks on Monday and glared at the shelves. Nothing I want, anyway. So there, Library. Put that in the funny wedge-shaped glass thing on the side of your building and smoke it.
And then. And then! I saw it peeking out at me, almost coyly. The Inland Island by Josephine Johnson! A gorgeous hardcover copy that looked brand-new and the cover creaked when I opened it! Josephine Johnson! Josephine WINSLOW Johnson! Pulitzer prizewinning Josephine W. Johnson! I just finished Now in November a couple of months ago. I was giddy. This book was going home with me!..then I remembered.
This newest library situation must be resolved. I didn't suffer through four years of working at a school in which the library's Dewey Decimal system stopped at 799 only to be denied checkout privileges at my current school because of someone's stupid mistake (perhaps mine).
My next move is to visit Office Guy in the English Department and tell him that I lost a library book and want to pay to have it replaced. Then he can call the charming fellow at the desk on the 4th floor of the library and try to sort things out. I hope we can kiss, make up, and go on as before. If not, and Charming-Nim wants to make an example of me, so be it. I suppose I'll be visiting The Inland Island.