Library, Church, bat-Buffalo Part 3
I headed to the Main Branch of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, which I had learned much about in a paper that I wrote for one of my winter semester classes. I was taken aback at how well laid out the library was, covered in signage, materials labeled down to the very simplest understanding. For example in the collection at the public library I work at, the media collections aren’t even labeled, here the CD collection (which was huge!) was labeled not only by genre (i.e. classical, but even as far as “Violin.”) I found the library to be very user friendly. It was a very nice facility (I won’t bore the reader with all the notes that I took, since it would interest few) and if ever in Buffalo and you are a lover of books, check it out.
I was very pleased with their Mark Twain Room (apparently one of his houses was just down the streets from my friends’ apartment) and its cases of photos, caricatures, and collection of all of his books (in several languages, some signed).
Another cool room was the Rare Book Room, which you had to get special access to, and since I didn’t want to bother with that, I admired the special display through the window. In celebration of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the special display showed an interesting collaboration of old books and modern fiction. Crumbly old books were laid out in conjunction with quotes taken from the Harry Potter books, for example a huge ancient looking National Audubon Society book was turned to the page showing the snowy owls (type of owl H. Potter's owl Hedwig-for all of you non-Potterites), next to a card with the quote, “Students may also bring an owl OR a cat OR a toad.” It was very cool, because the books they chose to display with the HP text were very cleverly chosen, and could also peak adult interests. They often tell us in library school to find ways to draw people into exhibits or displays using things that are interesting or attuned to pop culture, and I felt that this was very appropriate to that.
Attended 4pm Mass in St. Louis Church, a large hulking gothic church, who’s spiky turrets (I don’t know architecture terms that well?) point solemn fingers up to the Heavens, as though the church was showing the way for all the good little Catholics inside-typical of Catholics at the time it was built, I would think. Mass was…for lack of a better work…echo-y. The church is lovely, but when it was built the acoustics were probably not taken into consideration. I am always amazed at the architecture within old buildings, and maybe that is our downfall, we as a modern civilization can’t fathom those other, older cultures would have been smart enough or technologically savy enough to create such masterpieces.
Met up with B1, and after a quick stop to pick up dinner (Greek take-out and a bottle of wine), we headed out to watch Othello, as part of Shakespeare in Delaware Park, at the nearby park.
It was truly wonderful to sit under the sun setting sky and listen (my vision was limited for the first half of the play) to Shakespeare’s ranting monologues, bawdy rhymes, and love soaked soliloquys, while we feasted on Greek salad, stuffed grape leaves, hummus and pitas, and B1's delicious lemon cake (sorry B1, I can't remember the name of your delicious cake). Listening to the Shakespeare spoken harkened me back to my undergrad days, when I was a love sick English major, madly smitten with Byron, P.B. Shelley, and the master-Shakespeare himself. Shakespeare-when done correctly-can roll off the tongue and onto acquisitive ears like a cool drink of water, or the sweetest juices of the most luscious fruit.
The production was good, and after moving closer during the intermission, I was able to put faces and voices. I envied the costumes of all, and the boast and swagger of Iago, and the final death scenes, which harkened to Romeo and Juliet’s own. It was lovely to let my eyes roll up, from the brightly lit stage to the dark Heavens, dotted every so often with pale white-yellow stars; quite a juxtaposition.
Entering the hallway back at the apartment, B1 and I noticed that the bat, (which we had seen the night before, then seemingly docile) was now "freaking out", flying back and forth in front of B1 & B2’s end of the hallway. We stood frozen, not sure what to do for seconds, and then the bat headed for us.
There are two things to do in situations like this.
1. Act like a rational person and react calmly.
2. Freak out and run for it, screaming.
I choose the latter.
B1 realized a good idea would be to just get back into the stairwell. I however, tried to run for it.
My foot grazed the corner, as I tried to head around it to hide, and I went sprawling onto the carpet; my purse, keys, cell phone, and the blanket we’d sat on at the park went flying. I saw the bat still advancing and panicked. I did what any sane adult would do; I threw the blanket over myself and played possum, laying flat on the ground, screaming.
After a minute B1 peeked her head out the door, and said, “get into the stairwell,” to which I replied, “I’m scared, get under the blanket with me!” Yep. I tried to take B1’s advice, quickly gathering all that was dropped, and made to run to the door, but tripped again, this time on the blanket, and fell again. A repeat of the previous scene took place, before I finally managed to gather myself and get into the stairwell.
We went down a floor and up another flight of stairs that put us directly across the hall from B1 & B2’s apartment door. After B1 checked to, “make sure the coast was clear,” I made her unlock the door, before I would scuttle across the hall into their apartment.
Once we calmed down enough for me to stop feeling so freaked out (I have a fear of being chased…and apparently being caught in a small hallway with a bat, who I think is chasing me) we laughed. And we laughed again when we retold it to B2, who made a wonderful audience. This story was retold many times the next day, and I feel will be retold many years to come.