Last night I visited another Library You See In Dreams.
This must have been an academic library, because it was the haunt of grad students. Many grad students. Who lived there. On a vast subbasement level, innumerable grad students had carved out living spaces for themselves, forming library furniture–shelves, book carrels, whiteboards and the like–into rough territory-defining areas around cots. Their personal items were stashed about like a refugee’s household goods.
I was visiting. I was looking at the books. But naturally, I didn’t want to disturb anybody’s stuff. There was a shelf piled with folio-sized red hardbound volumes, worn at the corners. They held maps from World War II. I really wanted to take one down, but the shelf was currently forming a wall around one of the grad students’s cots. The student in question wasn’t there. Feeling like I was intruding, I tiptoed around their stuff, and got down the book.
Having my treasure, I tried to move out of the area, but knocked into an enormous duffel bag propped on the cot. The duffel bag hit a book carrel, which hit a floor lamp, which collapsed onto a whiteboard, which rolled across the tile. I tried to start picking things up, but the book carrel moved further and hit something else. In the quiet of the library, the clatter seemed deafening. People were looking at me. I knew that that untold numbers of grad students were ticked off at whoever that fool was making all the noise. At any moment the person whose stuff this was might appear.
Then the dream shifted.