Standing on the LandingKathleen Rooney
outside his apartment in Berkeley, carpet graying, thoughts straying, swimming through the murky pool of light in the hall, Robinson tries to recall his favorite joke from when he worked circulation in the Denver Public Library so long ago. Late summer, late night. Can't get it right. How the hell did it go? Feels like someone's stuck a fork in his heart— not the dinner kind, though, the kind in the road: head to the new girlfriend's house, or stay home? Bennies or dexies? Roam the Marina district, or drink alone? Golden Gate or Mexico? Robinson doesn't know. Maybe he'll do it all. Reaches into his pocket, pops a small red pill, then—oh, clarity! oh, recall!— furrows of worry in his brow go slack: Man walks into a library, asks for a book on suicide. Librarian says, "Fuck you— you won't bring it back."
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