The Harvard Kid

By Phoebe G. Barr

Within the Shelves

Don’t ask me what I’m even doing here, she says. My life is a series of real-life Wikipedia spirals. Just keep looking up related readings. Couldn’t tell you how my initial research landed me here.

“Here” is a remote corner of the library where it’s impossible to tell the time of day, where light is weak but vision is somehow clear. The books are dusty, long untouched, and we aren’t disturbed as she flits through the shelves in search of pertinent material. I sit at the empty table to wait.

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Behind the Register

His fingers are graphite-smudged from lecture notes, but they’re practiced when they fold the cheese in wax paper and ring me up. Seven dollars, he says.

Was this your first choice for a job?

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