Riding my bike to the library, I pass a great deal of roadkill. There’s a remarkable variety to the reeking, festering corpses on the side of the road. Not in terms of base animal, though, but in manner of decomposition. Some kills are fresh, just beginning to bloat into a stiff, awkward raccoon balloon. Other kills are long past their prime, merely a dark stain and a pile of fur, as if someone combed their Newfoundland into an old oil spill. The quantity and quality of roadkill on one four mile stretch of road makes me realize several things. Namely, we hit a lot of shit with our cars and we don’t give a fuck.
That probably says something larger about the human race in general, but it was kid’s day when I got to the library, so I was too distracted to consider mankind in totum. Kid’s day is not a specific holiday, monthly reading celebration, or even day of the week. It is, quite simply, the day that all parents bring their children to the library. These little tykes are typically between the ages of two and six and, like mankind in general, they run into a lot of shit and they don’t give a fuck.
Look at that, I did tie it together after all.
Kid’s day is my least favorite day to visit the library. I wish I could plan around it, but, unlike the sun and moon, it is not beholden to a regulated pattern, nor does it control the tides or light the sky. It simply occurs, much like the explosion of a leftover Vietnam War landmine. The parents seem to enter the library, family of twelve triplets in tow, and then simply disappear, leaving the children to fend for themselves. I can’t blame the parents, really, they have the right idea – I would get out of the way of an exploding land mine too.
Fortunately, most of the Lord of the Flies stuff is relegated to the children’s section of library where I certainly would not dare to venture on kid’s day. You can hear the squeals of delight and cries of outrage from anywhere in the library, not to mention the tribal drums and vigorous chanting. The scent of wild boar roasting over an open fire often wafts through the pages I’m trying to turn. Who taught the children how to make a pit fire, god damn it? Perhaps they found an instructional tome hidden among the Captain Underpants and Twilight novels.
Days like these, I’m forced to visit the library in surgical strike mode – get in, grab my held items, and leave without getting hit by a stray dollop of freshly flung poo. It never helps that I’m returning upwards of twenty items at a time, or that I road my bike there in beast mode and am all sweaty and out of breath and would really like to sit down for a moment. But no, there is a child in that chair and he is crying and he is eating a shoe and something smells really weird and it’s coming from his butt. So I guess I’ll just leave and admire the roadkill again, this time around a bit more understanding of their situation.