Usually, the library isn't mentally draining. There's no pull on my brain, no pressure behind my eyes, the thrumming of monotony normally kept at bay. Today, not so. Endless hours on the children's desk, punctuated only by overly questioning children and slightly overbearing adults. Periodically, the phone rings, inquiries from upstairs. Yes, I say, it's fine. But really, the turbines of monotony only provide anti-power, sapping me of my ability to Get Things Done. A small children's book, reeking of memory, keeps the day bearable. I read the whole thing.
The day drains rather than ends. There's no sharp crack between work and play, work and the rest. On this day, one simply flows into the other. On the bus, my SmartTrip has no money, and I stupidly add the coins to the box before swiping the card. Sixty cents lost, and no bus ride for me. Want to ride? the driver asks. Not worth it, I reply. I'll go through this next time I need the bus. Instead, I disembark and walk a lazy loop to the Metro, descending through wafts of an unidentified stench. Twenty dollars on the card, and maybe a train soon, if I'm lucky.
If I'm lucky.