by Marcie Rich

I am a librarian. I’m not sure how much people really know about librarians, including librarians. Dour, bunned and bespectacled... repressed shooshers (I can be dour alright, but I’m not a shoosher). Lately I’ve been wondering what makes me a librarian. Was it always meant to be? Which of my traits brought me to this place?

Number one: love of reading. I have lived without a t.v. since June 2009; I once went without sex for 4 years and 3 months, but I have not gone one night without reading since: the late 80’s.

I am currently reading The Blood Countess. Andrei Codrescu, 1995. A stifled, sociopathic, Hungarian Aristocrat tortures and murders approximately 650 girls. Why?? Number one: to preserve her own beauty. But number two: to satiate lust, and I don’t mean just carnal lust, I mean lust for all manner of knowledge...

Page 179: She felt within herself the flame of a burning curiosity that was not easily satisfied, and she suspected that such curiosity was not entirely benign. It was true that she had been unable many times to contain her anger at knowing a word but not its meaning. Buggery had been one such word. And she had not rested until she found its meaning, though that knowledge cost a poor gypsy wretch his life.

The other reason that I’m a librarian: love of the search. It is a deeply compulsive behavior that we in the biz call search & retrieval...


I am 13, 8th grade, Palmetto Junior High. Once a person starts Palmetto Junior High School it doesn’t take long to figure out that THE place to be after school is Patty Rozo’s house.

At this age, I spend a lot of time thinking about boys. I think about them, but the problem is, I am categorically unable to do anything about it. There is a vast web of consorting that spreads across the junior high landscape, everybody consorting with everybody else then switching anew like a great swarm of grasshoppers, and there is nothing, nothing I want more than to hop in and consort, but for the life of me I cannot negotiate where or when or who! And it is because I do not want to be just any grasshopper. I don’t want to be like any other girl.

Honestly, just sitting next to one boy, or maybe between two on a couch in an unsupervised residential setting, would be a dream come true. Fortunately, Patty Rozo and I have Biology together. Rich/Rozo-Lab partners. Alphabetical destiny. Patty invites me over after school. Today. Today is the day.

I am walkin down the street: Little diddy, bout Jack and Diane. Two American kids growin up in the heartland...(GASP!): Oh My God. There it is...

I am standing at the front door of Patty Rozo’s house. I ring the doorbell. There’s no answer. I ring again. There’s no answer:

Do I ring again or is that too desperate? Do I care if I’m too desperate?? HELLO?! Anybody home? HELLLLOOOOW!

The door opens: KEITH. HARRIS.

(Keith Harris, gorgeous, 9th grade, reputation for bein wild.)

Me: I know you. I mean. I don’t know you. I know who you are.

Do you? asks Keith Harris.


I tell Keith Harris Patty invited me. He opens the door wide and says:

She’s in the back bedroom.
Me:...In the??
He: Bedroom. Down the hall.

I step past Keith Harris so close my arm hairs stand on end, and that’s when he gives my butt a little pat. Me and my butt freeze. I want to look at him. I can feel his breath in my ear and his hand on my ass. My toosh. My backside, my bottom, my booty, my be-hind. My dereiere, why can’t I look at him?? Oh my god my ear is on fire. I know he’s smiling. His hand continues to clutch my right buttcheek.

I don’t ever want him to take that hand off my buttcheek.

Alas, I cannot stand here forever with Keith Harris’ hand on my bum, so I creep back to the master bedroom. When I get there, there is only Marc Spiegelman sitting on the bed. EW.

Marc Spiegelman says: What are you doing here?

Marc Spiegelman is a jerk. He thinks he’s funny, and he’s not. And he never remembers my name. I tell him Patty invited me. I sit down next to Marc Speigelman on the bed. Yes I am sitting next to a boy in an unsupervised residential setting, exactly what I’d wished for, but why Marc Spiegelman? He’s watching t.v. I watch what he’s watching.

Me: What does “Insatiable” mean?
Him: Who the hell cares?
Me: I do. Don’t you want to know what a word means when you don’t know what it we have a dictionary in here?


Marc Spiegelman asks: Have you ever seen a porno before?

Me: ...Yes.
Him: No ya haven’t.
Me: Yes I have!
Him: Yeah right. You’re a virgin if I ever saw one.
Me: And you’re not??
Him: I did it with a girl at camp this summer.
Me: Yeah, right!

Classic stalemate. Two liars. We turn back to the t.v. We watch “Insatiable Starring Marilyn Chambers”. I am alone in a strange bedroom with the biggest jerk in school, and I don’t mind.

Marc Spiegelman says: Watch this. This is the best cum shot ever-

Me: What? The best what??
Him: Shhhhh!
Me: Did you say: come?
Him: You’re missing it!
Me: Like c-o-m-e?

(When I was 11 years old, I read Forever by Judy Blume. She used the word “came” c-a-m-e in a sentence like this:

“We moved together again and again and I didn’t ever want to stop until I came.”

What? What does that mean?? I read that passage over and over and over, but I could never figure out what it meant. I grudgingly decided it was a typo. BUT MAYBE NOT.)


I ask again: Like c-o-m-e?

Marc stops watching the movie: Oh brother. You could spell it like that, but I think it’s more like c-u-m. Don’t ya know what cum is?
Me: ...Yes.
Him: No ya don’t.
Me: Yes I do!
Him: Ya want me to tell you or not?
Me: ...Yes.
Him: Cum. It’s the cum. It’s what comes outa the guy. It’s the cum. Get it?
Me: It comes outa the guy...It’s the come...It comes outa the guy...It’s the come. Of course! It’s a noun AND a verb!! It’s the cum, c-u-m. Past tense he came, c-a-m-e!
Him: Hello?
Me: I get it.
Him: Congratulations. Now rewind it.

I rewind the tape. And Marc Spiegelman and I watch the best cum shot ever, again. Thank you Patty’s mom for never being home. Thank you Marilyn Chambers and whoever-you-are-who-just-came-in-her-face. And most of all, thank you jerky Marc Spiegelman. You stopped watching the best cum shot ever to teach a girl borne with the flame of burning curiosity not easily satisfied nor entirely benign. I’m not suggesting librarians are sociopathic, but sometimes you’ve got to be willing to go where the search takes you: beyond Judy Blume, beyond The World Book Encyclopedia. Even beyond Webster’s New World Dictionary 2nd College Edition. Thank god for porno.