9.17.2005

Red Sponge

There was the time I was in the library, reading the September 19th issue of the New Yorker magazine. Straight ahead, not twenty feet from the table I occupied with a small boy whose father was trying his best to keep busy with not-himself, a twenty-something with a sponge of red hair and a red tee shirt sat at one of four computers. Five minutes earlier, the small boy who now sat two places from me, his back turned to his father's back, had walked up to Red Sponge and asked, "What is that?"

"It's just a website."

"What is that?" The question had been repeated, not enhanced.


"It's just a website with pictures." His voice was somehow squeezing, and he might have had braces. The small boy walked away, satisfied or annoyed or distracted, soon to join me.

Ten minutes later, Red Sponge's library card was revoked for accessing pornography on a library computer. I suppose he might have been less than twenty. He left, slowly and without concern. The little boy was taken a few minutes later by his father, apparently having finished browsing back issues of Bazaar.

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