Thursday, December 10, 2009

This Just Appeared On My Desk

Sometimes, when I come back from the break room, things have appeared on my desk. But usually there's no note with them, so I don't know whether they are just inappropriate letters for me to answer, or what. Several times so far I've discovered items on my desk that are actually messages for me, or gifts even. I have the feeling this might be a gift from someone, but I'll have to take a closer look.
There are a lot of things about this place that seem like gifts to me, actually, come to think of it. Like last night, for instance. Last night I was here working until it was cold, very dark, and well past any kind of comfortable hour to start the commute home. My eyes were a little tired from sifting through endless pages of The Encyclopedic Record of Naughty and Nice, and I was feeling slightly defeated in my emergent knowledge that my position here could be trending toward "Old News Specialist", which is not at all the hoped-for result.
I was about to shut the books for the night and head home when someone I recognized as a Chef from the Kitchens Beyond the Break Room came up the stairs and sat on the corner of my desk. Sometimes you crave an actual meal when you are here, and on those occasions when you are in the break room, it suddenly occurs to you that you can work with a chef and create something delicious for dinner. It is a bit of a bore to eat alone, but when you have someone serving the food to you who also sits to talk with you while you eat, who is entertaining (every chef I've met here has enough stories host a talk show AND write the commercials), it's not so bad. But anyway, this one, this elfin chef of near-indeterminate gender and medium height -- who always wears the most fabulous scarves and shoes (even on the job in the kitchen, as he's capable of being very neat) -- looked at me in all my exhausted glory and said, "wouldn't you love it if this Library had a comfortable bedroom for you to sleep in tonight?"
I was so tired that I swung my head around toward the windows in search of nighttime sustenance to gather the strength to properly continue the conversation (I needed to be home, and not at work anymore)...and just before I swung my head back I caught sight of a staircase just beyond the stacks behind me. It was a staircase I'd never noticed before (oddly), but I knew I was a little delirious, so I just answered, "Yes. That would be great!"
My kind and fabulous friend from the kitchens stood up and nodded at me to follow him. He led me up 5 or 6 stairs on that same never-before-seen staircase into a bedroom. He said, "Get comfortable. I'll be right back."
I sat down on the bed, kicked off my shoes, leaned back, and noticed some nightclothes next to me. Normally I feel a little strange wearing borrowed nightclothes, but these were lovely garments in my own size that looked like they'd come from my own closet.
A moment later my buddy the chef returned with a bag of overnight items and a steaming cup of sweet-smelling cocoa, which he carefully handed to me. He sat down at the foot of the bed and started chatting, in his cute, European way. "I think Santa likes you," he said.
"Yes. It's surely the truth. Have you seen him sending you these things, these projects, that no one else has tried to solve for years now?? It's true."
(Sip of extremely delicious cocoa)
"Hmm. You know, actually quite a few of the letters I've answered over the past couple of days have been from past years. No wonder I'm so exhausted. I you know me well enough yet to know that that I prefer to focus on the present?"
My friend looked at me from the end of my bed and slowly blinked. Then he nodded. He asked, "Can I offer you something?"
"The danger is deep, but the protection of true love is deeper."


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