It was the end of a school year. I dinna remember if it was 1996, my final year of college, or a year or two before. Point is, the campus was closing down. Scavenging around the campus is a good idea at this time of year. Birmingham-Southern kids are often livin' large on Daddy-Doctor dollars, and the Bank of Mom and Dad funds a lot of disposable lifestyle accoutrements. So, a few days before everybody's gotta move out of the dorms, see if you can't worm your way into the halls and see what people are throwing out. Once I saw a friend walk out of a dorm with his arms full of perfectly good lamps. He looked a bit embarrassed, but I take my hat off to him. Years later I was in need of a lamp, and it was the end of the school year, so you know where I went and what I did.
Let me be clear: we weren't STEALING lamps. We were scavenging lamps that had been left in the hall by people who had left, and didn't care about the lamps. There's a reason two BSC boys burned down churches; they'd had it too easy and never learned the value of anything. By cracky.
But this one time, I was presented with a remarkable temptation. I went to the library to turn in my last batch of library books. the library was scheduled to be closed, so I planned to use the book drop.
But the door was unlocked. No one was there.
If you'd asked me to list the library materials that I'd enjoy owning, we could have been there all day as I listed the books, videos, records and CDs that I coveted, coveted, coveted. And here I was, the only person in the library.
You think I didn't check? I strolled in, set my books on the desk, and wandered around... looking for people. There weren't any. No guards, nuthin.
Maybe there were security cameras hidden about, but judging from my friends' stories of late-night library shenanigans (up to and including sex acts in out-of-the-way nooks) I doubted there were any eyes in the sky. So it's possible I could have walked out of that unguarded library with a wonderful haul.
I'm glad I left empty-handed. For one thing, all the furrin films I'd snatch on videotape would be ruined by now, just like the videotapes I actually bought, all of which fell victim to some kind of dust or mold or something. And most of the books would be sitting on shelves still waiting to be read.
But of course I'm mostly glad because who needs the guilt?