More than five years after graduation, I once again entered the hallowed halls of UP-Diliman’s Main Library, where the real Oble is located and which — rumor has it — stands on rollers to keep it from toppling in case there’s an earthquake.
Still the same smell of old books and faint shellac. Still the same silence punctuated by chairs scraping the floor and the mild whirring of the Xerox machine at the far end of the Social Sciences section.
I was there in the Social Sciences section.
My visit to the library was almost on a whim. I was planning my day in the morning when suddenly I thought the library could afford me the silence and space (it has vast study halls with individual desks) for an editing job I would bring with me to UP — because I was expecting my request for some certificate at my college would be quick (it was).
So there I was, reliving memories of cramming for some political science exam of years ago, of reviewing notes and clambering to the borrowers’ counter to check out six heavy books. The memories were not exactly good ones, but they produced some sense of security, but I couldn’t grasp exactly why just yet…
Then the guy on the desk in front of me wakes up with a start.
And then it hit me, why all that sense of equilibrium: finding my younger self in the nap-inclined fellow, I knew I was home.