First I find a poem and write it out by hand. Then I find a cabinet and with screws and hinges and little glass panes and some rubber lining I will make it waterproof, just like my house. It needs to be waterproof, just like my house, because the things inside are important and if they got wet they would be destroyed.
With a screw driver I fit the hinges to the side of small walls of the cabinet. I twist and once the screw is in I fit the next–it takes two screws per hinge. I have to make sure to line them up correctly. All your ducks in a row, I’ve heard that before. It makes things more organized.
The shelf has three levels to it. My house has four, but that’s alright. I don’t need to live in the cabinet, only my friends do. I take the rubber lining and fit it to the top ridge of each shelf. With smaller screws and bolts I fit the glass panes into the hinges. When the panes swing close they they click snuggly together and press themselves up against the rubber lip. I hope no water will come in. I don’t want my friends to get wet.
With a drill I make holes in the bottom of the cabinet at all four corners. I have wheels I took off an office chair. They can be twisted into the holes by hand and seem snug and sturdy once there.
The poem is my favorite poem, or one of my favorite poems, I really can’t decide. The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. I tape it to the inside of one of the glass panes so that anyone who sees the cabinet will see the poem. Maybe they will read it. On the other top pane I tape a note.
Please one book per person at a time.
Please return all volumes.
Please take take a moment to read the poem out loud, even if a long.
Have a nice day.
I lift the cabinet down the few steps onto the walkway before pushing it out to the sidewalk along Maple street. Inside the each book I put a small label that says: Alex’s Library, 909 E Maple St. Bellingham, Wa. Then I stack my friends into a box and carry them down to the cabinet which will now be my library and their new home. Like my house it is not glamorous, but it will keep them dry and warm and I will bring them into the garage at night. The friends I put into this house are the ones I’ve kept with me for so long. Tolkien, Pullman, King. As well as some new favorites like Mitchell, McCarthy, and Zusak.
I hope they stay safe as they venture out into the world. There is no guarantee I will see them again. It is, afterall an honor system. But no matter. Whoever they end up with, I hope they get along well.