The cat glared
It was an unmistakable glare. It said, plain as day, that no one would get past this spot, and that even thinking about attempting was foolishness beyond foolish. This was conveyed with such authority that it took on a truth of its own, beyond the merely physical. It was, all things considered, a metaphysical statement
It was ever so slightly undermined by the fact that people walked past all the time, both back and forth, with the only result that the glare shifted to the next person in line, but this was of little concern
The cat continued to glare, unperturbed
Someone who is not me is listening to it. Someone nearby. With the loudness
Startled by this realization, he sprang into motion, surprising everyone present. As he got closer to the song, he thought about what it could mean. Or, rather, about what it meant to hear it right here, right now. Rounding the corner, he saw exactly what he expected to see
“Hello, big brother” a young girl said
“Oh yes. I thought about calling you, but then I remembered phones are considered rude inside libraries, so I boomboxed instead”
“You always knew how to make an entrance. This time, you didn’t even have to enter the building”
“It was the polite thing to do, I reckon” she said, with a smile so bright as to give the sun a run for its money
Ah! Finally, it arrived! The new book, ordered so long ago and awaited long before that. Finally, it is here!
For years, two authors have been at war with each other, and every new book they publish is a new attack in this extended conflict. Never openly, of course, or as the main topic of a book specifically dedicated to broadsiding the adversary. But a war is waged, and it is waged in the footnotes. If you know to look for it, it is as clear as day; if not, then the books are just about the things they are about.
She did not, admittedly, care that much about the early development of international maritime law in 16th century Europe. But this was apparently what the author decided to write about, and so it was a small price to pay to get at the numerous and extensive footnotes.