The Library Dancer
By Jeff Baker
The young woman pirouetted around the tall bookcases in spite of wearing high heels, her dress flowing around her legs like an upside down flower.
Crouched behind a low bookcase, the two men stared and the one whispered to the other.
“There, Basil,” said the shorter of the two. “Perfect specimen of a Library Dancer!”
“And a female!” Basil replied, whispering. “Note the newsprint pattern of the dress.”
“Notice something else,” Willie replied. “She’s in a bookstore, not a library. That’s rare!”
“Almost unheard of,” Basil said.
The two men watched as the Dancer moved from one section of the bookstore to another, executing one graceful move after the other; now a pas de dux, now a swirl, now something bringing to mind Pavlova’s Swan.
“Remember the one we had to run out of the Brooksdale Library?” Basil whispered. “A male exotic dancer!”
“Oh, yes!” Willie said. “Half the men were titillated, the other were jealous!”
“And then there’s the pair in the Notre Dame Library. Not many places have a pair.”
“Rather incongruous having a pair of square dancers, but they don’t seem to bother anyone,” Willie added. “Oooo! Look what she’s doing now!”
The Dancer was balanced on the tall ladder the employees used to reach the high shelves, hopping from one rung to the next, ever higher. Then, she looked down and realized she was being observed. There was a sudden whoosh of air and Basil turned his head just in time to catch a last glimpse of the Dancer zipping behind the books on a high shelf.
“Some of them,” Basil observed, “are shy.”