Dreary May Day in the Wertheim

Usually, I have to head home by 4:30, but once I week I work a bit later.

As luck would have it, today is that day and it’s a dreary one. My work on Mrs. Dalloway is inching forward, but I feel uninspired. And the same must be true of my fellow scholars here in my study room at the New York Public Library: several have left earlier than usual and a few are taking longer lunches than they typically do. One scholar sat amidst books and four gum wrappers. Anything to stay alert. After a crowded few days, it’s quiet here.

So we were all surprised by a knock on the door. One young woman answered and there was Jay Barksdale, our librarian, carrying a tray with a pot of tea and a dozen cups: “Tea time!”

We all laughed nervously in this silent, silent place, Jay left, I poured, and we’re back to work.