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The healing power of book arrangement
Sat Sep 1, 2018 19:04

Dorian wondered whether this was always how Professor Brooding’s classroom looked when they were not in it, or whether she had made the effort in case he came back. He felt vaguely guilty if it was the latter because he wasn’t sure he really wanted any of the things on the desk.

His tension eased slightly when Professor Brooding confirmed that he could sort the books out. He did library duty on a regular basis, and he knew how calming it was to sort books. Having some kind of purpose for a little while, making something neat and tidy and better - that would help. He turned to the bookcase, feeling comforted.

“I am unsure,” he replied, when she mentioned snacks. He did not really want any hot chocolate. He was torn between whether it was polite to fake an interest in the beverage, because it had been brought and offered, but he honestly wasn’t sure he could force it down. His stomach was still in knots and his throat felt all closed up, and the thought of the sweet, claggy beverage made him feel sick. He searched his thoughts, trying hard to want something. “Maybe some apple?” he suggested. “I feel…” he made a wavering gesture with his hand. “So, nothing that is… is too much. Maybe later,” he added, gesturing to the hot chocolate. It seemed like he was really allowed to choose with Professor Brooding though. To come back or not come back. To talk or not to talk. To have hot chocolate or not. He liked to please people and it was hard not to feel some inherent guilt at not wanting any, but he also felt that it wasn’t going to be a problem that he didn’t, and that was reassuring. He gave an apologetic half smile, both for rejecting her offers and also for his English. He often ran low on English by the end of the week, and with everything else going on, his brain was struggling more than usual.

He turned his attention back to the bookshelves, wondering what to do about them. When he worked in the library, all the rest of the books were in the right place, and he just had to make room and slot the returns back in. Here, nothing was right. He could remove everything and start putting it back but he was unsure how long exactly that would take, and he did not want to make a huge mess that he only had time to half clear up. He could look through and find all the ‘A’s and then shunt everything down into the spaces they made and put them at the front. That seemed like it might work. He supposed he could also take all the books from the top shelf and put them in order, then there would not be a lack of space for anything. He could then take the second shelf and work it in, pushing the latter half of the alphabet gradually down as he worked more and more books into the arrangement. He liked that plan better because it involved creating less mess in the process of doing the job.

“You wish it to be in the order alphabetical with the authors, yes?” he confirmed, “Are there to be subcategories also, or just all together?”

  • By all means.Professor Mary Brooding, Sat Sep 1 15:09
    Mary was not under any false impressions about her own mental state when Mr. Montoir returned to the classroom and her office space there. Thoughts of Tabitha and their recent fight, if that was even ... more
    • The healing power of book arrangement — Dorian, Sat Sep 1 19:04
      • And conversation?Professor Mary Brooding, Sat Sep 1 23:43
        "The best time to drink hot chocolate is when you're really excited for it," Mary said as she sipped from her own mug again. "I love that moment. It's best to wait until you are ready," she smiled... more
        • The best time for hot chocolate is when you’re really excited for it. Dorian nodded mutely. He could not fault Professor Brooding’s logic there, although he couldn’t imagine a time when he would be... more
          • Ah, but this isn't the end yet.Professor Mary Brooding, Sun Sep 2 01:35
            "That sounds like a good plan," Mary replied, controlling her excitement. She maintained an even temperament on the outside, but her insides were dancing and singing and just generally being excited... more
            • I hope you're rightDorian, Sun Sep 2 01:54
              Professor Brooding appeared not to want to help with the books, which was fine. He could sort and she could work, and then he wasn’t in anyone’s way, but nor was he having to be out and socialising,... more
              • I promise.Professor Mary Brooding, Sun Sep 2 02:27
                Mary smiled at first, enjoying Mr. Montoir's explanation of his grandfather and sorting Chinese texts. Then she beamed. "When I was younger, I really wished I was more patient. I decided I would work ... more
                • You read my mindDorian, Tue Sep 4 06:33
                  Dorian had to listen hard to Professor Brooding’s answer. She went off on quite the tangent. He didn’t mind that as such, although she was one of those people where you had to wait until the very end ... more
                  • Sorry about that.Professor Mary Brooding, Tue Sep 4 17:22
                    Mary was surprised when Mr. Montoir seemed to recoil some, and even more so at the fact that she found this so surprising. She'd been a student once; how creepy would she have thought it if her... more
                    • It was probably my faultDorian, Wed Sep 5 04:06
                      Silence reigned. Dorian tried to focus back on the bookshelves. But it didn't feel like comfortable silence any more. It didn't feel like they were two people working companionably in the same space. ... more
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