Words are sensuous creatures, waiting to be rolled off tongues, sung in harmonies, whispered into ears. And the books that contain the words beg to be touched, opened, fingered. They wait, those handsome volumes with their sleek bindings and smooth covers, on bookshop shelves and in library stacks, to disseminate their pleasure if one would just open....
My friend saw a guy in the Toronto Reference Library not so long ago having his own personal sex fest on the fifth floor. Had he reached for Henry Miller or the Marquis de Sade and found in their pages inspiration to undulate his way across the broadloom to wet orgasm right there in literature?
Did he sniff his way along the stacks, inhaling the rows upon rows of books full of paper imprinted with black ink spelling out words that anyone could dress up or dress down according to their own fantasies? Did he crack open volumes hiding luscious secrets like lovers' throbbing hearts, crying out to be plucked from the shelf, thumbed, caressed, ravished, read?
Not at all. My friend was reading in one of those big cushy library chairs when she looked up to gaze out the window at the panoramic view. What caught her eye instead was a man, a young man as far as she could tell, lying prone on the floor.
She watched, frozen in the unreality of the moment, as this man slithered across the carpeted floor toward a woman seated in another cushy chair.
A woman dangling a sandal from her foot.
I'm sitting in a neighbourhood library reading Anais Nin. The studious staring blankly into blue monitors are clueless as to the hot thoughts racing through my mind as I pause to consider the fifth-floor orgy my friend witnessed.
The dull regulars are seated around me, snapping newspapers and chewing gum, when out of the corner of my eye I see a guy in a navy blue pin-stripe suit enter the library. I turn to watch him. He's heading straight for the stacks, knowing exactly what he wants.
What book has set him in such fluid motion? He plucks it from the shelf and sits down at my table.
I bury my face in my own book and inhale deeply as I peer shyly over the page as he reads.
My mind drifts back to the sex scene my friend witnessed. I imagine four library patrons watching the young man's actions, including the woman whose feet he lusts after. No one does anything. It's one of those dreamlike moments, questions moving vaguely through the mind: What is happening? Does she need help? Or is she part of it?
The woman drops her sandal to the floor.
No one moves. Except the man. His dishevelled hair falls in front of his eyes as his movements quicken. The woman looks uncomfortable. Is the woman in on the game, is her discomfort part of it? Maybe the woman is frozen due to pleasurable sensations.
Much like the kind I'm experiencing right now.
A teenager seated near me, mesmerized by some computer game, is banging the keyboard to my left while I dream of banging the man in the suit.
But while I may fantasize that I'm the nymph with the bare toes, I'm not about to enter into some carnal carnival for the whole library to watch. Perhaps that little study room upstairs?
Of course, that room is rigged for maximum visibility, but then, so is the Reference Library. The whole episode there, my friend related, took approximately 15 minutes. Once he reached her naked foot, he came.
If only the rule-enforcing librarian in this library were prim and proper Marian the Librarian. She might understand how I feel. I'm certain the Music Man quite dashed her morals to kingdom cum on one of those ladders that move about old library shelves on wheels.
The man in the suit leans into his book, his face within licking distance of its pages. OK, so fucking in that room upstairs isn't possible, but fondling each other beneath the table while pretending to study serious tracts would be.
I dare not look at him. Behind me, a Staff Only door clangs open and shut at regular intervals. In the stairwell, perhaps? Jam the door. Ram the cock. Bang the dude. Wham, bam, thank you, man.
But wait. He's getting up to leave. He exits as swiftly as he'd entered. I glance at the book he left behind. Dictionary Of Literary Terms.
Hyperbation. Climax. Glossary. Denouement.
The young man on the fifth floor stops moving, all is silent, quiet as a library should be. He gets up, dishevelled and sticky, and walks away.