Stay Out of the Stacks!

Readers—our Communicant, Mary Valle, has been missing for a few days. She was last seen telling her husband she was going to do a little research in the KtB archives the night of November 2. Her husband sighed a silent “whatever” and dreaded the load of horrible out-of-print books she would bring back to add to the overflowing jumble on her side of the bed, which, frankly, annoys the shit out of him.

However, when she did not return later that night, he became concerned. Mary, being a creature of habit, always likes to be in bed by a certain time. Investigation into the matter revealed that Ms. Valle’s last known whereabouts were in subbasement six of the KtB archives, located in a nondescript building in an office park in New Jersey. Her digital voice recorder was found in pile of folding chairs. Here’s the audio:

MARY: All right, all right, people. (Claps hands.) Let’s bring this meeting to order. First of all, I’d like to welcome you all to Researchers Anonymous… I see some new faces and some familiar ones too!

(At this point, Mary addresses the “gathered” who do not appear to actually be there, including John Dewey, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie and Anton Newcombe, whom she kindly redirects to the NA meeting down the hall.)

(There’s some more chit-chat and introductions, which all sound like Mary doing different voices.)

TAPE SKIPS TO: Mary: (crying) Have you ever read that story, “Descending,” by Thomas Disch? That’s just what it felt like. Or, there’s this Philip K. Dick book, I forget which one—where a guy goes to turn on the light switch and it isn’t there?

ANOTHER VOICE, which sounds like MARY doing a “man’s voice”: A Scanner Darkly?

MARY: Mr. President, maybe. Gonna have to look that up. (Laughs.) So, you know, I was looking for this book called Nun: A Memoir, cause it had this Latin phrase in it about things not being eternal—

ANOTHER VOICE, which sounds like MARY doing an “English” accent: Quod non est aeternun, non est?

MARY: Yes. That’s it, thank you, Julian. I should have just asked you to begin with. So, anyway, as I usually do, I found another book and started flipping though it, and I just got so freaked out cause there was my name in it—Sister Mary Loftus!

(“masculine sounding” grumble)

MARY: “Valle” is my husband’s name, Otto. Before I got my M.R.S. degree, I was known as Mary Loftus. And I am a sister to five! And it totally sounds like me. And I attended a Sisters of Mercy elementary school!

“MAN’S” VOICE: (Grumbling something about the “Irish”)

MARY: But, St. Thomas, “Loftus” really isn’t all that common a name…

“MAN’S” VOICE: Google it!

MARY: (laughs) Aquinas, you always make me laugh. But check this out!

(Here Mary begins to read a portion of the book The New Nuns: Serving Where the Spirit Leads. There’s a sound of chairs being knocked over and the audio portion cuts out.)

Readers, if you see a curly-haired woman clutching old books and muttering in Latin somewhere in the mid-Atlantic, call KtB at once.