Alex Hooks
A Morning at the Library

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For the past five years I have been a reference librarian at a small public library in Florida. Today I pulled into the parking lot at my usual time of eight-thirty. The Library did not open until ten, but people often lined up early at the front doors. The library was the most impressive building in town. It was big, modern and well lit. It really stood out among the small rental houses and grungy bars that make up the rest of the area. The only person waiting when I arrived was Marco. Marco sat at his usual morning post on the green bench next to the main glass doors of the library. He got there every morning hours before the library opened. Marco was in his fifties. He described himself as a special forces killing machine created by the United States government. He did not look like much of a killing machine. He was an overweight guy with a dazed facial expression. His dazed expression may have been caused by the prescription medications he got from the veteran’s administration or perhaps that was just his natural state. I did not know. He always wore black and had a collection of crosses hanging around his neck. These were the kinds of crosses they sell at the flea market for bikers and metal heads. Because of these decorations Marco was known to the young teens who hang out at the library as Ozzy. My car was the only car in the parking lot except for a big black Escalade. I knew it was not Marco’s. Marco rode the bus.

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