People keep asking if the library is closed, or will it be closed, or can it be closed, or blurg it be closed. But lamentably, no, we're still here serving the damn public. Reggie seemed to think the shutdown was about us also, since he missed work yesterday. But thankfully he was back today to gross us all out.
"I got the numbers of three nurses while I was in the hospital."
"That's great. But I thought you were out yesterday because of the shutdown?"
"That was just yesterday. Last week I was in the hospital for my high blood pressure. So they were working on me and everything, and then I said something stupid. They asked me if I'd had an exam recently and I said no, so out came the latex glove. The doctor got his fingers all greased up. I'm a hardcore man, I don't like that gay stuff. I asked him if I could at least smoke a cigarette first."
"I think you're supposed to smoke after they do it."
"He couldn't get it in. He kept telling me 'Relax your butt, relax your butt.' Man, I almost punched him."
"At least he has a good bedside manner. Or buttside manner." Rim(job)shot.
"So I had to take it easy last weekend. I'm on this new medication, makes me a little dizzy, but otherwise I'm feeling better. I went with Jerry to see his new art piece. He did an airbrush of these guys blowing each other, kids and other guys, guys in leather, bent over, stuff like that."
"And where is this hanging? The Webb Building?"
"At the Wrangler. It's a gay bar. Jerry told me not to go back to the trough because guys will try to blow me."
"Right. Don't put that temptation in front of people."
"But his work was above the trough there. Lots of guys in leather..."
"So while you were critiquing his handling of composition and line variation, some guy was blowing you?"
"No! I was just staring at a painting of guys in leather having sex with each other."
"Ah, much better. So at The Eagle there are lesbians in leather whipping each other, and at The Wrangler there are dudes in leather blowing each other. Man, deviant sex is so boring."
"Anyway, a woman who lives in my building, this fine black chick, wants me to do a painting of her. So I did a pastel of her with angel wings in my hospital bed."
"I thought you didn't like black women?"
"I didn't have sex with her. Just painted her. In the nude."
"Hey, speaking of race relations, we have an interesting photo on the library website. Did you see it? The Western History Department is digitizing a lot of old photos and they put them up on the website..." Reggie's eyes were glazing over, just as I wanted. "But look at this. You'll enjoy this one."
Reggie came around and looked at my monitor.
"See? That's a black man being burnt to death around 1900, in Limon. They tied him to railroad ties, and then doused him with kerosene, and..."
Reggie burst out laughing. (True story. I was a bit stunned by his reaction, but maybe it was his meds...?)
I stood and waved my hands. "All right, shut it down, people," I yelled. "Library's closed. SHUT IT DOWN."