When I was in college
I worked at the public library. A lot of that time feels like looking into a dreamy snow globe now. Like I see it, like I see me standing there with the books, sorting them, shelving them, flipping through them, as time slowly fell around me. And another shift would end, another begin. There were always more books, more finds, more hours drooping by.
I was thinking of the computer room then. The huge box monitors (this was 2007/2008 and, you know, it was a public library) were slanted into desks to, I think, give the patrons some privacy. If you’ve seen the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt episode where Titus uses the public library computers to catch some media coverage, the “Masturbate Responsibly” sign was spot on. More often than not when I’d pass and sneak a peek at a patron’s screen, well the images didn’t usually have to do with gardening, or pottery, or ancient ruins.
I can blink back into those days. To the twilights and the rangy guy I had a crush on. The feeling of simply existing and hoping for more. Time has passed and I’m back again. Or still here. Every year is another heavy layer or an old skin shed, and all I have still is the act of these same hands - organizing books that someone else had chosen, or pulling hot cocoa beans from the roaster.
Look, what does this have to do with chocolate? I guess it is this leap. Back then the chocolate didn’t exist, and now it does. It seems like not much has changed, but then there is the Cahabón. The fact that this chocolate exists in its great juicy crashes and complex twists and turns is proof (along with the deeper wrinkles in my hands) that time has passed. And that things have even gotten better. Or at least that some beautiful things have been made, through tough lessons learned. I still stroll those same streets I would scurry down to get to work on time. But I’ve done and understood so much more. And still, not so much in the grand scheme.
And I think… that even the library computer room has been updated. Though perhaps not the content.