The sun has finally moved enough so that the dead cockroach lies in shadow. This seems appropriate, though I couldn’t say why.

We are in the library, the cockroach and I. We are surrounded by books, paperback, casebound, and hardcover. We are surrounded by book browsers (the book readers all seem to be at home).

The amber carapace, at least an inch long, is dark now–a stark contrast to the bright luster it showed under the morning sun. One wing rests above the other, one of the only signs that the cockroach is dead. The other sign is that it hasn’t moved for two hours.

I think perhaps I should clean it up. It will be a shock to some old lady who sets her books on the side table and sees behind it the fallen cockroach. But I won’t.

This is a library: a temple of stories, facts, and fiction. A library, a place to encountered long-dead writers, never-visited worlds, and myriad other signs of mortality and permanence. A library, a place to see an amber cockroach, first in the sun, then in the shade, and to wonder who will remember us when we are gone.

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