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2003-03-19 | 3:23 p.m.

[I wrote this last night but didn't have time to put it up. Have more and different things to say today, but no time yet to type them up. Do you sense a pattern here?]

Been getting a lot of hits lately for “women in quicksand.” Trying to figure out if people’s fetishes go into overdrive when current events are tense, or if it’s just some kind of overall desert theme. Like when people started wearing sand-colored camouflage during the Gulf War.

(Did that really happen, or am I imagining it?)

I feel myself falling into a quicksand of resignation. I catch myself thinking, "Okay, well if it’s a go anyway, let’s hope something good comes out of it." I want Bush to prove me wrong. I want him to go in there and remove all the WMD, as they say at the Pentagon, lock up the bad guys, and come home. Even though I know it doesn’t really work like that. Not unless Jack Bauer is in charge.

I went to sort books at the library tonight. I had the girls with me, and we took the elevator down into the basement, like usual. When the door opened, I saw that the lights were out, which was odd for that time of day, because usually there are a few high school kids in there doing whatever they do. Still, nothing truly out of the ordinary. I know where all the light switches are.

As I took my first step out of the elevator, I saw a face in the shadows and then the person it belonged to leapt toward me, screaming, "HYAHHHHH!" and thrusting something long and dark at me. I did one of those sucking-breath shrieks, not very loud at all, and then the lights flicked on and five teenage girls stared at me in horror and then dissolved into fits of delirious laughter. "I’m SO sorry!" said the girl who had done it, and I saw that she was carrying one of those mock rifles made of wood that they use on drill teams, and it was wrapped entirely in rainbow-colored tape. "We thought you were someone else!"

I told them I figured as much and tried to take it like a good sport, which allowed them to save face and laugh for another five minutes solid. Maybe I should have scolded them. Maybe I should have said it was all well and good for them to play hide and seek with their pretend rifles, but on such a somber day, with so many other teenagers preparing to face death on the other side of the world?

But that would have been totally uncool.

I just said they’d better be careful not to pull that kind of stunt on an actual librarian.

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