Lucida Handwriting & the Book Sale
Megan wanted a font that was literary yet legible. Courier New and Times New Roman screamed “homework!” and Comic Sans was obviously a grade school font.
She needed something else for the library book sale. Something bookish, but not Declaration of Independence-y.
And that’s when she found it. Lucida Handwriting:
Saturday, September 8
11 a.m. — 3 p.m.
Ask a library volunteer for details!
Lucida Handwriting had also saved Megan’s book club fliers. It was a fun, funky, playful font. Especially in italics. It looked like the kind of gentle cursive she always wished she could write in.
Kids in third grade didn’t learn cursive anymore. They learned HTML. Megan, along with most librarians and teachers her age, believed this was the beginning of the end. They also recognized the obvious sign of aging: nostalgia. They laughed at themselves. They were getting older. Everything worth praising had already happened.
Megan centered her flier and hit print. She printed five signs. Two for the bathrooms, two for the entrances, and one for the center of the library. Those little metal stands were still out from the summer reading challenge.
She stood up and walked to the printer.
Ten pages had printed out. The ! had moved onto a second page, and the text had printed in the wrong orientation.
“Something wrong, Megan?” That was Dina, Megan’s boss. She always wore black slacks that were too long. The backs of her pants were always frayed.
“I hate computers. Look at this.”
“Oh, that happened to me when I printed the summer reading challenge fliers. I think I remember how I fixed it. I mean, I had my son do it, but I think I remember what he did.”
After a half an hour (which involved an extensive Yahoo search and calling Dina’s son), they finally had the fliers. Megan got the metal stands out of the janitor closet. She pulled them out one at a time. She probably could have done two at a time, but why the extra strain?
Dina came out of the bathroom and walked up to Megan.
“Oh, Megan. I was thinking.”
“We should probably put CASH ONLY on the signs. Last year, a few people tried to pay with card.”
Megan went back to her desk for another half hour to re-print the signs.
Once Megan had the signs posted, she started to look through the selection of books and movies for the sale. She had a piece of paper listing the inventory. She was just checking the inventory against the inventory.
There were the VHS tapes. Those still sold pretty well, actually. Titanic, tapes 1 and 2. One copy. Megan put a check on her inventory list. There was Sleepless in Seattle. Check. Megan felt satisfied with each check mark.
It was a voice like licorice — dark, smooth, rich. Megan looked up to see a young man, around age 25, 26, shoulder muscles visible through his T-shirt, dark brown hair and hazel eyes that looked gold under direct light, and black in shadow. Tall. One dimple when he smiled.
Megan froze. For the first time in years, she was looking at a man who was more muscle than fat. Her mouth went dry. She felt like a teenager, not a woman approaching middle age.
“Do you work here?”
“I’m a librarian. Yes.”
“Can you help me find the study guides?”
Probably a jock who never got his GED.
“Sure. What are you studying?” Megan didn’t need to know what he was studying in order to point him in the right direction. She just wanted to hear him say more words.
“GRE. Going back to school next fall.”
“Oh, wow.” Megan felt guilty for assuming he was a dumb, pretty jock. “What do you want to study?”
Jesus Christ. This man as an architect, in an all-black outfit, maybe some reading glasses when he was in his 40s? Megan swallowed.
“Wow. So, the um. The study guides. They’re in kind of a weird spot. I can show you.”
He smiled a kind of sinister, knowing smile. What did he know?
That night, Megan logged in to look at her 401(k). She knew what it said. She just looked every once in a while. She had a lot saved. Over six figures, and she was only 40. She had worked 12 years at the library already.
Sky, Megan’s daughter, was on her phone. She was 10. Her father was not in the picture. It was easier for Megan to accept getting older when she looked at her daughter. She was on Snapchat. Megan had downloaded it and created a fake account just to check on her daughter. She couldn’t find any way to change the font on the app. There was no way to change the font on Instagram, either. All the new, trendy apps only had one font. Helvetica seemed to take over.
When Megan created her very first blog (Xanga), she distinctly remembered the option to change fonts.
(Did she remember the option to change fonts?)
Plain letters were in.
The pretty boy came back for the library sale. Megan was working that day. She was helping and training the volunteers. She had just given everyone their name badges when he came back. Megan watched his Adam’s apple move as he spoke.
“You remembered my name?”
“You’re wearing a name tag.”
“I’m Ben, by the way. I came back for the sale. I was wondering what you had.”
Megan stood there and looked at him with a smile. Neither of them said anything for several seconds. Ben raised his eyebrows.
“Well!” Megan cleared her throat. “We have some VHS tapes, but you probably wouldn’t be interested in that. We have some books . . . Do you like Game of Thrones?”
“I haven’t read any of them. I heard there’s a lot of sex in them.”
“Um. Yes. There is. And death. Not just sex. You know, in case you don’t like that kind of thing.”
“Don’t like sex?”
“We also some some other fantasy and sci-fi if you’re interested.” Megan gestured toward them. Ben walked over to the bookshelf. Megan exhaled. Ana, one of the volunteers, walked up to her.
“What is happening with the cutie?”
“What do you mean?”
“I thought you were going to pass out.”
Ana was thin with blonde highlights. She was a soccer mom. Organized. Peppy.
He probably would like her better. Not that he likes me at all.
“He was just looking for Game of Thrones.”
Next came the Halloween Reading Challenge. Students could read ten books before Halloween and get a book of coupons: free ice cream from McDonald’s, discounts at theme parks.
Megan sat at her desk to create another sign. Ben had been in the library every day that week. She watched his eyelashes as he blinked. Her stomach stirred. She thought about inviting him over when her daughter was away at a sleepover.
Did that make her a bad mother? She had her shot at love…not that she would call this feeling love, exactly.
Megan couldn’t think about that. She opened Word. She knew how to print now. She knew what font she wanted to use.
I wonder if he’s clean-shaven, or if he has stubble today. I hope he has stubble.
She looked to see what she had written.