Reading Room

Reading Room

In the West Reading Room of the Central Library, a security guard walks over to a long man dozing in a chair. She gently taps his shoulder. “You need to get up and stretch your legs or I’m going to ask you to leave.”

The man lifts the brim of his dirty cap and flashes a childish grin. “I ain’t sleeping, I’m reading.” He fumbles with the upside-down book in his lap, a scotch-taped copy of Pulp Friction: Uncovering the Golden Age of Gay Male Pulps.

“Now you know that’s not true. This is your last warning: wake up or you’re out of here.”

He gives her a hard look and she smiles back. “I know it’s cold outside,” she says, “but this is a library. Wake up.” She leaves the room and the man pulls down his cap and softly snores as the book the drops to the floor.