Monday, March 02, 2009

New York Snow Day

They really don't shut down the city. And there was over 5 inches of snow overnight!

This morning, for the sake of experiencing my first real snow here, I decided to bundle up (in all my handy-dandy long underwear nyoinked from a large donation to LCF--hadn't needed it since downrigging. My tops still smell a little...cosmolene-y.) and go stomp through the snow drifts in the street. While that was fun for about five minutes, I soon felt a need to occupy myself in a more worthwhile manner. So I went to stomp through snow drifts in the local park. After a delightful five additional minutes of stomping I happened across a set of keys. The ring was smushed, and a number of the owner's grocery store discount dongles were torn, but the keys themselves were fine. I initially opted to try and hang the keys on a railing where they'd be visible if the owner came looking for them, but then I stumbled across his or her library card, attached to another smushed keyring.

An idea formulated. I called my sister.

She gave me directions to the closest library branch,which involved two trains I'd not yet taken, and after a few false starts, I managed to stomp my snow-coated way through the doorway of the Brooklyn main branch. It's a simultaneously attractive and hideous building--spacious, interestingly curved, and interestingly painted with what appears to be zodiac symbols, but monolithic, solid concrete, with little interior decoration and that all-too familiar utilitarian government-issue feel to the racks. After surrendering the keys and cards to the security office I meandered into the fiction section and was surprised to discover the first book I saw was a collection of short stories by a favorite author of mine. I proceeded to make myself comfortable at a reading table and systematically execute two hours.

When I emerged from the library, the wind had picked up and the previously delightful chill had become bone-rattling. My eyes teared up instantly, blinding me, and thanks to the snow re-routing the street I nearly wandered out in front of a moving car. On the brief train ride back toward my house I observed that I'd encountered some sort of pocket on the karmic continuum--I performed a small act of charity by turning in the library card, and in return I enjoyed a book that I wouldn't have otherwise encountered. The moment I exited the library, however, the pocket disappeared and I returned to cold reality.

To suggest the trip to return someone's keys was entirely selfless would be fallacious--if it hadn't been for the library card I would have hung them up nearby and hoped for the best. But any excuse to go to the library is a good one for me. I had nothing better to do, and the card, far from inspiring a good deed, triggered my nerd-out response. I hope the keys make their way home, and I'm glad I had the time to take the trip.

"I say, look at that pair of birds. And me with this solitary stone."


Kim said...

Way to do your civic "duty" ;-)

Ben said...

Last time I went out for a walk in the snow at night I got so cold I wanted to cry. I could cope with my body being cold, but my eyes were cold. My fucking eyeballs!

That's just not right.