Thursday, August 30, 2012

SPOON OF SHAME

     I like to take my lunch break alone, and I typically barricade myself in the Library's back storage room, which does have a little desk to sit at. I'm forced to hunker back there, because if I stay in my office, I can hear the choir next door practicing, and that is not conducive to healthy digestion.
     At least the back storage room is quiet, and there's no phone. I can eat and read in peace.
     Back in my secret hideaway I sometimes have a jar of peanut butter, and a jar of Nutella, and well... you know how things just kind of HAPPEN. The spoon spends time in both jars, and things get a little crazy, like a '70s love-in.
     The really bad thing is that I'm usually too lazy to wash the spoon after lunch, so it sits there for at least a day in its smeary filth, hardening and probably being licked by rats and cockroaches. That's my worst fear.
     Yesterday I finally shooed all the students out, turned off the lights, locked the door, and closed for lunch.
     I crept back to the scene of the previous day's lunch crimes, and grabbed the spoon. Disgusting. I headed for the sink, holding the spoon out in front of me like a dirty diaper.
     Suddenly I heard someone fumbling at the locked door, and the principal barged in, apologizing for interrupting my lunch break. There I stood, in darkness, with my spoon of shame. I quickly shifted my grip on the spoon so the dirty business end was enclosed completely in my fist. I casually dropped it to my side, hoping she wouldn't notice.
     I slipped behind the circ desk while she asked me the quick question that was the purpose of her visit. As she spoke I surreptitiously dropped the spoon on a storage shelf below the counter. It made a "CLANK" sound, which I ignored.
     As soon as she was gone I took it to the sink and scrubbed away the shame, and the specters of rat tongues and dancing cockroach legs.
     Today it occurred to me that she probably noticed I was weirdly hiding something in my hand, and she probably heard the sound as I dropped it to the shelf out of her view. What if she thought I was concealing a hip flask of vodka? Who knows what she might imagine that could be even worse than the spoon of shame. It briefly crossed my mind that I could fess up and explain that it was a dirty peanut butter-and-Nutella encrusted spoon I was hiding, not anything illegal or perverted.
     But I know that would only make it worse, especially if she hadn't noticed anything.
     Sigh.
     Let her think it was a crack pipe.
   
   

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