prologue to a dream

Black rubber on white marble, both colors worn with the exertion of the city around them. Slow footsteps make small sounds of relief: whew, whew.

“Why are you laughing?” smirks the security guard. My demeanor may be misplaced in this place, an hour before opening, its pall quieter than usual.

I am usually so cautious with my words, but these clamber out of my chuckling before I can think: “Because I am happy. I am excited.” I turn to regard the massive rotunda shining in the morning light, and something so much larger than my heart flutters, then settles.

The automatic door exhales me onto the damp street. The next time I enter, it will be a years-long dream realized: the first day of my tenure at the San Francisco Public Library.

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