I finally made my way to the library about thirty minutes prior to closing. They usually stayed open until around nine in the evening, but there was a special event going on this particular day, granting me less time to peruse the stacks. Also, it wasn’t until I arrived there that I realized that I had practically been sprinting from the church as I was completely out of breath and dripping with sweat. I managed to pull myself together for the sake of not appearing suspicious and walked in.
“Hello. Welcome to the library. Are you aware that this branch will be closing in thirty minutes?”
As soon as I walked through the automatic doors, a rather drained-sounding voice croaked out the above dialogue. Those words belonged to a bored-looking teenage girl who was situated behind the check-out desk, appearing as though she wanted to be anywhere but the library.
“Um, yes I am. Uh, thanks.”
I started skimming through the juvenile section first. One by one, looking at just about every book on the shelves brought back memories of reading from when I was even younger. Before my parents converted to Buddhism and became rather subdued, I would sit between them every night and read a favorite book of mine aloud. These days, however, I had tried to improve my tastes as so to prepare myself for adulthood (as if I could learn that from a book). With that in mind, I started toward the adult fiction section. Or at least I was until I saw a rather eye-catching sign that stopped me in my tracks:
Are you a young musician looking for
the chance of a lifetime? A renowned Russian organist
is offering up the chance to audition for two organ apprenticeship spots!
Sign up down below before October 30th! Hurry, hurry!
In an instant I was able to recognize that this sign was what the organ man at the church was talking about. I believe that it is fair to say that prior to seeing the concert earlier that day I had no real desire for music. My parents never really exposed me to it in the midst of their religion-hopping or world traveling, despite being around many creative types. However, I personally compare my musical awakening to a previously-dormant volcano finally erupting and alerting the world of its presence. Music was here in my life and it was there to stay in my heart forever. Seeing that sign just brought back all of the emotion that I had felt from the concert right back to my senses.
“I’ve got to get into this!” I actually said to myself, aloud. The only problem? I knew nothing about how to play music. I knew how music made me feel, and I wanted to make others feel the same way, but how would I accomplish that? Feeling flustered, I did something remarkably out of character and actually went to search for another human being on purpose. That other human being none other than a librarian, of course; a most hip and sprightly lady who anyone could tell probably spent her leisure time getting high off the smell of books.
“Um, hi! Are you a librarian?” I uttered, surprisingly with little trepidation.
“Why, yes ma’am! [I always seemed to attract the loud and bold kinds] My name is Mrs. Joenby and I would be happy to serve you should you have any questions, comments or concerns!”
All of a sudden, I realized that her name had struck a chord. She shared a name with my new high school! Going off the out-of-character high I was on, I prompted further.
“Mrs. Joenby? Are you related to the person for which the high school was named?”
“Why, yes ma’am, I am, I am, I am! Well, I married a terrific cowboy who is his great-great-great nephew, but still, lil missy, IT COUNTS! As a matter of fact, you are more than free to just call me Miss J. How’s about that?”
This interaction provided such a strange jolt to my system that I vowed to just make use of the library’s computer catalog to conduct any future searches.
“Uh, okay, Miss J. I wanted to know if you all had any how-to books for music.”
“Well, do you want to learn how to play a certain instrument, missy? We’ve got plenty o’ music books! If you would like, I can show you the section where we store ALL of our music-related books!”
“Oh, great! That would be perfect.”
She sashayed her way to the 700-somethings and showed me a goldmine.
“Welp, here they all are, hun! We’ve got everything from Bach to Rock and clarinets! Get ‘er dun, hun!”
“Oh, okay. Thanks!”
She had seemingly sashayed away in an instant (thankfully). I knew that I only had about ten more minutes left, so I skimmed through the section to get a feel for what might best suit my interests. The guitar books were first, then classical, then piano. When I was about halfway through the section, I stumbled across a few books about music theory. Although I knew nothing about music, I figured that a book talking about the theory behind something drew parallels to the scientific theories I had studied; ya know, the “juice” inside of the already-born fruit. I chose a fairly comprehensive course that came with a few CDs, checked it out at the front desk and made toward the comfort of my home. I had only a little under two months to discover another planet and I was going to make my efforts count.