Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Umbrellas

I sat under the red umbrella at the Brooklyn Public Library to keep the afternoon glare off my computer.  The umbrellas were shut, so I opened one.

I did the same for the older woman next to me.  She thanked me kindly, with a big smile.

I opened one more for the West Indian woman next to me.  The smell of coconut lotion carried softly on the breeze as she thanked me as well.

I was peacefully working when men in uniforms came out.  They started closing my umbrella and the umbrellas around.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

We are closing the umbrellas.

“Why?” I asked.

Because of the wind.  Our supervisor said so, we are just following orders.

Let me talk to the supervisor.

The supervisor came out in his beige uniform.  BPL on the chest.

I held up my hand.  Look at the wind I said.  It was gentle and faint.  These umbrellas aren’t going anywhere.

Let me think about it.

He came back.

“Feel it,” I said, “it isn’t much.  The umbrellas are weighted down.  They aren’t going anywhere.”

But they are closed.  And if we let you, other people will too.

“And?” I asked.  “Feel the wind, these things aren’t going anywhere.”

Precaution and security in America.  Oh, how you make me laugh.

No comments: