I’m feeling sick and raw and generally lousy. It’s made even worse by BOTH kids seeming to be under the weather as well. The whole house may split apart and sink into the sea, which’ll be impressive since we’re in Minnesota.
Anyway. The Drunk Anecdote.
Yesterday, I went to the Public Library, that magnificent shrine of glass and granite and pure light which houses a huge book collection in an amazingly airy, lit space. I biked down and went upstairs, took up a chair and began to read and write for awhile.
Presently, about two alcoves ahead of me, someone began yammering on their cell phone REALLY LOUDLY. Just banging on his asinine conversation about how he ain’t gonna give up dat custody battle nossir and he hated that he had to leave the apartment cuz of his microwave and teevee bein’ innit but he wasn’t gonna let THEM go neither. And on and on. Really quite loudly.
Now the librarians there are, like all librarians, carved out of pure undiluted cool…but they are a quiet bunch. So I watched in gentle bemusement as two of them — seemingly together just to give each other courage — came over and hesitantly told him that if he wanted to talk on his phone, he’d have to go downstairs to the entryway lobby.
They left. He sat there and continued. slightly quieter, but still yapping on. I was contemplating what books were near at hand that I could bludgeon him to death with. (I was sitting near the Complete Letters of Charles Dickens Volumes I through IV…but I’m not sullying so wonderful a set of huge books with brain matter. I was hoping for a Danielle Steel or Jacqueline Susan, but none were nearby.)
Now two librarians come over and say “Okay, we’re going to have to ask you to leave for the day. So get your bag.”
The guy gets up, still on the phone, with his bag, glaring around.
“You forgot your coke,” one librarian says helpfully picking up the plastic Coca-cola bottle. It’s slightly open and sloshes onto the seat and floor. “Here sir you forgot your—”
She stops and sniffs.
“Is this alcohol in here?”
The man just rolls his eyes.
“We’re going to have to ask you to come down to the front desk, sir,” says the older librarian, and this is when you discover that she’s not that timid, she’s just nice, but she Takes No Shit.
So they head down with chuckles.
I’ve left a bit out of the story.
The bit i’ve left out is that, by coincidence, as happens sometimes….a police car was parked on the curb of the library. It’s not always FOR anything, but officers just stop in now and then. One was stopping in (for what, I dunno).
Lousy time to be a boozer in the library.
The librarians go away. One of them goes to get the janitor, who comes up to clean up the floor and move the chair. She and the janitor get up there.
I’ve left a bit out.
The bit I’ve left out is that while she’s off getting the janitor, a nice looking man in tan slacks sits down in the chair, presumably getting weird-drunk-booze all over his pants. The librarian looks horrified when she realizes someone’s sitting there.
The man, to his credit, took it into stride and headed off to, I assume, change.
I, meanwhile, went and wrote a couple good pages of the short story I’m on and had a lovely afternoon.