I’m going to the library. Now that I’m portable I can escape the cluttered dining room table and the critical stares of the cats anytime I want. I must have been one of the last people in the universe to buy a laptop. As long as my old clunky pc worked why buy a new one I said? Sure I couldn’t watch videos and download pictures but so what. Reuse…recycle…reduce. That’s always been my philosophy of “things” even before it became the green mantra. If it works, keep it…if it doesn’t get rid of it and buy something new. (Actually, that’s sort of the way my relationships work too…except for the “getting something new part”. That was never easy and is exceedingly hard the older I get.)
My library is perfectly located just four blocks from home. I like my work, exercise, food, libraries, movies, and body repairs to be within a twenty block radius of home. (I do extend my parameters for very good friends and paid work.) I would have done well within the walls of some medieval town. (One of my exs said this geographical limitation was a sign that I was just too unadventuresome for city living. That’s one of the reasons he’s an ex.)
This library has bronze griffins and monkeys and bears, oh my, guarding it’s doors. Inside there’s a curving marble staircase, whimsical wall hangings and a population of gentlemen who frequent a local mission in the neighborhood. I have to time my arrival so I’m there before the mission breakfast has ended or right before lunch is being served. Today I’m too late or too early depending on how you look at it. Whatever way, all the best tables with views are taken.
I decide to hover in Mysteries close to my favorite spot that overlooks a beautiful garden that some good neighborhood folks planted in the back. Four chairs, four guys. Two are watching movies on their ipads (how do they afford those?) so I know they’re not leaving soon. One watches his phone willing someone to call. I think the library is his office just like it’s mine. The fourth is promising…he’s reading the newspaper. I wait.
When I hear the “See ya later,” I move in. Thermos on table. Computer plugged in. Latest draft of Annie’s Odyssey on the screen. I’m ready. The phone guy gets a call just as inspiring ideas creep into my head. He’s loud. Unfriendly sounding. I don’t make eye contact. After the third call, I say, quite politely I think, “Excuse me, sir. But could you take your calls elsewhere?”
Silence. Glare. “This is a public library lady. It is for everyone.”
Then he smirked. I swear, he smirked. My good Irish blood was starting to heat up. I was feeling righteous and embarrassed. The other guys looked up from their movies thinking this live action might be more entertaining. Deep breaths, Annie. I didn’t think under the circumstances that it was a good idea to ask one of them to watch my computer so I could go and ask a librarian to referee our disagreement. I sent a tweet instead (!) and packed up.
Saving face and pretending that I was leaving anyway, I said, smiling at the movie watchers, “Have good day gentlemen.” They nodded
I made a mental note to buy a pair of earphones before the next visit…