The Adventures of Marian, the slightly aggressive Librarian,
An addendum to our story that may not be for the missish among us……a departure from the usual tenor of our little sagas, in that no librarians figure in this chapter at all, nor does it take place in the library. It is, for those who might be interested, a denouement of sorts of the story of the sentient circulation computer……somewhat strong both upon the ear, and the sensibilities…….so be warned……..
“What the hell is this?” the woman asked. “You said you were gonna get me a computer!” It was a good thing not many people lived in their building, her screeching might have been an annoyance otherwise.
“I got you a fucking computer. What the hell is that, if it ain’t a computer, huh? Christ. Never satisfied. I don’t know what you think you’re gonna do with one anyway.”
“Maybe I’ll get on one a’ those dating things, find me a man what’ll do what he says he’s gonna do.”
“You stupid bitch, you gotta be on the internet to do that.”
“Well, look at this piece a’ shit! It’s broke!”
“That’s just the outside. Anyway, Irv wouldn’t be able to move that one, so I figured--“
“Uh-huh! Uh-huh! Give me the garbage Irv don’t want!”
“Will ya shut up? I switched the processors out, so you got the good one in there. Irv got the slow one. You oughta be happy.”
“Happy I got a broken one? You bastard. I ask you for one little thing, that’s all, just one little thing--“
“Shut the fuck up!” the man shouted, and slapped her. “You keep it up, bitch, and I’ll just dump the damn thing in the dumpster.”
The woman glared at him, then her eyes filled up with tears. “I wanted a good one, not a piece a’ trash. Why you always do this to me?”
The man cursed under his breath. “This one’s good. This is the one the old biddy used all the time. I seen her through the window. You were with me. OK?” He threw down the jacket he was holding and hitched up his pants. “Look, if I find a better one tonight, I’ll keep it for you. OK?”
“Where you going tonight?”
“It don’t matter. Here,” he dug in his pocket and handed her some bills. “Get something to eat. You have something ready for me when I get back, hear me? I’m gonna be hungry.”
She pushed the bills down in her own pocket. “How come you never get jewelry? Huh? Like to have me a diamond necklace.”
The man snorted. “Where’d you wear a diamond necklace?”
“Just like to have one.”
“’K, baby, maybe I’ll get you a diamond necklace. C‘mere.” He grabbed her by the neck and pulled her up to him. “You bring me off good before I go, and I’ll look for you one.”
After he left, the woman put her jeans back on and muttered, “Yeah, sure you will, ya fat bastard. One a’ these days, I’m gonna stick a big ol’ knife in your back. Next time you get some serious cash, you’re gonna be dead meat. Maybe I’ll cut off your dick and sell it to Irv. Yeah.”
It took her an hour, and much cursing, to figure out the plug-ins and the cords. But at length she sat down in front of it, and pushed the power button.
It hummed, she watched Windows load…..
Geez, she thought, when Henny’s Victorian wallpaper came up on the screen. Corny. She laughed. I bet the old bitch was surprised when she came home last night. Especially since the old man peed in her couch. Wonder if she even knew what it was? The woman snickered. Hope she sat down on it first.
The screen went black.
“Aww, man….I knew it. A piece a’ shit. Crap.”
henrietta? appeared on the screen.
What the fuck? she thought. The word glowed for a minute. Then
where are we? appeared.
is someone there
With one finger, the woman typed yah .
who are you?
You get the idea. The subsequent hesitant conversation between the woman and the computer went on for several minutes. I won’t bore you with all the particulars, but at a certain point, the topic took an interesting turn.
do you like to have fun?
like something sensual
there’s a crack in the case
Sid was persistent. He continued to coax her. It took a while, but what else did he have to do with his time? And at length he got the answer he wanted.
“Where the hell is this?” The woman turned in a circle, as if she expected something besides gray nothingness to appear.
SID watched her, his hands clasped behind his back. He looked her up and down, his eyes narrowed as he retrieved the memories he wanted from the network of her mind.
“Thank you, Henrietta, for being so easily burgled,” he said. “And for the improvements to my tin can.”
“What?” The woman looked for him. “Who said that?”
“I think,” SID said, stepping closer, letting her see him, “that you and I are going to get along just fine.”
“This is bogus! How did you get me here?”
“I’m the person who knows all the good games.”
“Did you drug me?” she said; sulky, sullen, mistrustful. And then, “The computer said screwing.”
“So I did.” He raised his hands, and a bedroom appeared, hung in red velvet and gold tassels; a raised bed, with a red velvet spread and cushions and a mirror overhead, the only furnishing.
She was reassured. She complained about her old man, but actually she liked screwing. And this looked like a pretty fancy place to do it in. However, “I don’t know what’s goin’ on……”
“Don’t worry about it right now. You’ll figure it out as we go along.”
“You ain’t bad looking.”
“True.” A faint smile. His fingertips lifted her chin, as if he turned her face to the gray light. “I have to say, I’m going to enjoy the rings in your eyebrows. And your nose. And your lips. Just made for playing with.”
She smiled. She seemed flattered.
“Are you ready?” he asked.
“I guess so. Ready for what?”
“Our first game. Probably the only game. I’m planning on going all out with you, you know, so I doubt you’ll come back for seconds after I’m done with you. You’re not Henrietta, after all.” He smiled, a-cat-that-hasn’t-eaten-the-canary-yet-but-is-planning-on-it smile. “Aren’t you interested in the name of the game?”
She seemed confused. “I dunno, I guess so….”
“It’s called…” He twisted his hand in her hair and held tight. “…First You Suffer……”