who knew there were so many books about orangutans

i opened outlook at work today to find an email from the library (specifically from the circulation department right over my head) saying that there was a book on hold for me that i’ve never heard of, much less ordered for myself.

this happens a lot. librarians like to order books, movies and cds that made them think of a particular fellow librarian. and they have no qualms about going into that fellow librarian’s account and ordering it in his/her name. after a while you get used to the lack of privacy and just decide to feel special that someone was thinking of you.

of course, in the days of Hot Lunch, it was a method of guerrilla warfare, putting sexually explicit material on hold for each other. it started innocently with a bunch of books about orangutans. like book after book of those goofy-looking orange guys showing up all week for Mrs. H. then it quickly escalated into dating guides (He’s Just Not That Into You), self-help works on emotional disorders (Stop Hating Yourself Now),  improving your bedroom technique (The Guide to Getting It On), improving your bedroom technique (The Photographic Kama Sutra) and improving your bedroom technique (The Joy of Gay Sex).

until one day SOMEONE (Mrs. H) didn’t look carefully enough and put some helpful material on STDs on hold, not for “Hot C. Lunch” our smart ass coworker, but “Hot C. Lunch” the Perfect Stranger who happened to be in the fourth grade and who happened to have a humorless mother who happened to pick up his holds for him. i repeat, NO sense of humor. the era of i-got-you-back-now-everyone-thinks-you-have-genital-warts-ha-ha was over. we were just glad no one got fired.

the mystery book on hold for me this morning was The Wisdom of a Broken Heart by Susan Piver.

i know i’m easy to make cry these days, but it’s no less significant that my eyes teared up when i read this. i’m trying my best to put on a brave face at work and not make everything be about me and my drama (whereas everything FEELS like it’s about you when you’re heartbroken… it says so right on page 2 of the book, so i’m normal) and i informed so few people of the breakup because of the shame i felt at being ditched by the local celebrity that i don’t even know who knows but i do know that if they know, then they found out through whispered rumors. which feels as awkward and seventh grade as it sounds.

but someone out there knows. and was concerned enough to think of this book for me. and then my and Hot Lunch’s former coworkers and friends silently processed and shelved the book under my name. it feels like everyone knows, everyone feels bad, and everyone wants us both to feel better as soon as possible. and that means something big to me. even when i’m so alone, i’m not alone.

so far, the reviews and the introduction are super encouraging. i’m going to dig into chapter 1 before turning out the light tonight. i plan to have a pen, my journal, and plenty of kleenex available. it feels good to be DOING something instead of always FEELING something or trying NOT to feel something.

i’m so grateful i wish i knew who to order the orangutan books for.

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