1. The new librarian tells me in the break room that she resigned from a job the next county over. Pulling a thick maroon cardigan over her bare shoulders, she says the weather is quite nice here. It’s equivalent to being on an endless holiday, which she knows from all those travel magazines about Italy strategically fanned out on her doctor’s waiting room tables. 2. There are only so many hills she’s ever been willing to die on, and that number is steadily decreasing. She is particularly sad about a small mound, less than a meter high, that was bulldozed and paved over with asphalt when the mall parking lot was remodelled. Like so many other nameless hills, there was nothing auspicious about it, but she remembers a friend taking a photo of her posing beside it, the same way people pose at the Leaning Tower of Pisa. 3. On Wednesdays, when the librarian has her late lunch break, she walks to the city park’s tallest treeless hill, the one overlooking the memorial to a failed lumber company and the last trickle of a weary river. She sits cross-legged, facing exactly east for a perfect view of the golf ball that has wedged itself into the triangle of a displayed letter ‘A’. The warmth of the sun on her back is almost like being held. 4. One of the librarian’s acquaintances, who is also a librarian, drops off the county library newspaper for her every month because she keeps forgetting to join the mailing list herself. This has been happening for eleven years, but she can’t recall their name and at this point is too ashamed to ask. To compensate, she makes them a steady supply of golf-ball-textured apple candles. They always smell of apple and wax when they visit. 5. The librarian pours juice for me at the Halloween staff party. She guesses what book character I’m dressed up as. I can’t figure out who she is. You’ll realize, she assures me. Think about what you’re drinking and the view from the big hill.
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