I wrote something for The Hairpin.
The Book: Learn Descriptive Cataloging, by Mary Mortimer.
The Man: Early 20s, nice smile, gray sweatpants, red shirt.
I’m riding the recumbent bicycle, trying to pay attention to how exactly the Library of Congress creates copy catalogs. I’m also entirely alone in the bike area, because it’s only the early afternoon. This guy saunters over, looks me up and down and settles into the bike next to me. I flip a page, there’s silence for a few moments, and then — “How many calories do these burn?” I look up. “Oh, I’m not really sure, I think it says on there.” I look down. Flip a page. “What’re you reading?” “Uh, it’s a book about library cataloging, for grad school.” I show him the cover and go back to my reading. “Why’re you reading that? That sounds boring.” “Yeah, it’s pretty boring, it’s for school.” “Hm. I wouldn’t read that for school.” I’m unsure what to say so I nod and keep reading. He gets up and leaves after a minute.