Overqualified: Lend me that book and you can be sure I'll see you again!

To: Human Resources, Aliant Zinc
Re: Book keeper

I am writing to apply for the position of Book Keeper with your company. Attached, you will find my resume, and a list of my qualifications. I have been keeping books for four years now, and I am never going to give them back.

The first book I ever kept was Fight Club. A lady friend leant the book to me just after we'd met, when we were first exposing our tastes to one another. She smiled, handed me the book and said "These words will change the way you think about your life," or something like that. I don't really remember. I just remember the way that book felt in my hand. It belonged there.

When I was a child I had a mild case of obsessive compulsive disorder, and this feeling was like that. It was satisfying the way counting the hairs on the other children during naptime was satisfying. It was like a nail being driven into a board, sliding home.

When a week had gone by, my lady friend asked "Have you finished with my book yet?"

I shook my head. "No," I said. "but I'm finished with you."

That was how it started. That was the beginning of my library. Keeping books became so much more satisfying than orgasms had ever been. Adding to my bookshelves was more exciting than ridiculous underwear or clumsy sexual innuendo. Every girl would lend me a book or two, and I would slide it onto my bookshelf and write them a polite note.

"Susan, please do not stop by anymore. Enclosed please find a stick of deodorant."

"Allison, I don't know if I could stand to listen to you talk about politics for one more minute. Socialism would probably work better if everyone's mom bought their groceries."

After a few months, I realized that I needed a second bookshelf. My collection was growing rapidly. Whenever I talked to my mother, she wanted to talk about my fear of commitment. She was worried, she said, that it was because I hadn't had a strong male role model. She said I was always running from women who were perfect for me.

"What was wrong with that nice girl with the punk rock hair?" she said. "She seemed nice enough."

"She owned every single Tom Clancy novel." I said. "But love doesn't last forver."


Joey Comeau