Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Weird Times en la Weirdioteca

It's very rare that you're able to experience something so fascinatingly bizarre but I believe it's also inevitable for each and every one of us. You can't force this experience. Rather, it will happen when you least expect it. Tonight, it happened for me. Tonight was my lucky night...

Monday night. 8:55pm. Local library. Second floor.

I've been quietly working on my laptop for the past hour or so. The announcement that the library's closing came on the loudspeaker just a few minutes ago. "The library will be closing in ten minutes. Please bring any checkout items to the front desk."

I'm packing up my laptop now. Wrapping the cord around my mouse. Removing my computer glasses and replacing them with my regular glasses.

I see the librarian making the rounds. She checks the tables. Pushes in chairs. Picks up any scraps of paper or other litter. It's obvious I'm packing up so she doesn't feel there's any need to tell me they're closing soon.

However, there is a man about four or five tables down from me. Also working on his laptop. Little bit on the older side, maybe in his 60s or so. Looks normal as far as I can tell. In fact, I had determined about 30 minutes ago that he looked so normal that it was safe for me to leave my laptop alone at my table while I ran to the bathroom to do a pee. So that's pretty normal. That's I-feel-it's-safe-to-leave-my-laptop-alone-with-this-guy-nearby normal.

The man, however, is not "packing up shop", so to speak. He continues to work on his laptop while the librarian is pushing in chairs left and right, dropping hint after hint that it's closing time. But this guy's not budging.

By this time, the librarian has determined that this man needs a friendly reminder that the library is closing in less than five minutes.

"Sir, just so you know, we're closing in five minutes..."

But the man does not respond. Nor does he acknowledge her. All he does is stare into his laptop and (seemingly) continue to do his work.

"Sir," she says louder. "We're closing soon."

The man still doesn't budge and doesn't look at her or even acknowledge he heard her in the least.

"Excuse me...Sir! We're closing."

Still, no response or acknowledgment of any kind.

I hear what's going on and grow concerned. What the fuck is happening down there?

"Excuse me! Hello! Sir! We're closing!"

Still, not even a flinch on his part. Not even a raise of the eyebrow or any other subtle gesture. Utterly nothing.

I take a more careful look and see that this man is not wearing headphones. And he does not appear to be a foreigner who may speak another language. But even if he does speak a different language, he would still acknowledge the librarian who's now standing smack-dab in front of him with her hands on her hips, practically shouting into his face.

"Hello! Sir! We're closing! Hello!"

And this bizarre exchange proceeds for the next minute or even two.

"Sir! Closing time! Hello!"

I stand at my table for a moment. Dumbfounded. This is happening, I tell myself. This is really happening right now. I look around to see if anybody else is witnessing this. But, no, it's only the three of us alone on the second floor.

I determine that this man must either be insane or he must be the most gigantic asshole who ever lived on the planet. My instincts tell me it's the latter that's true.

I swing my laptop bag over my shoulder, pretend like I'm leaving but then sneak down an aisle of books that allows me to get closer to the alleged asshole without being seen. I'm not sure if this librarian will need my help. My heart starts racing. Is the shit about to go down right now? Maybe every day of my life has been leading to this very moment. Maybe this guy IS a psycho and I'm supposed to save the librarian from him. Maybe this is why I'm living. Maybe this is why I exist.

I'm about to take my glasses off so I can fight without them being on my mind. They cost 300 bucks, after all. I don't want them damaged.

"Sir! Hello! Sir! Hello!!!"

I post myself behind a shelf of books. About as close as I can get without being seen. I'm ready to pounce if needed.

"Closing time!!! Hello!!!"

And, then, there is nothing but silence.

I creep around the bookshelf and see that the man is finally starting to pack up shop. He's putting his laptop away. And his mouse. There's also a half-drunken bottle of Pepsi Zero, which I hadn't seen from my previous vantage point. As for the librarian, I don't see where she went.

I figure it's safe to leave now.

As I'm about to descend the stairs, down to the first floor, I see the librarian circling back towards me. We lock eyes and I say...

"What was that all about?"

She shakes her head and says: "I don't know."

And that is that. No further discussion. No further questions.

I exit the library, emerge into the dark parking lot and realize I had just witnessed something very bizarre, perhaps one of the most bizarre things I had ever witnessed. 

What was that man's deal? Was he so narcissistic that he thought the library should only close when he's ready to leave? What did he think he could accomplish by ignoring the librarian? Maybe he got off on being the biggest asshole on the planet, to women, or just in general. Maybe that was his only motive: being an asshole and enjoying it.

I want to wait for this man to come out of the library and study his habits. Maybe follow him home. To see if he lives alone somewhere or with a family. I want to know what makes this gigantic asshole tick. I want to observe him for a week. I figure an asshole so gigantic must live in a miserable world of hell. I want to see this hell. I'm curious. 

More importantly, I want to know how often he drinks Pepsi Zero. Perhaps the sugar substitutes could be causing toxicity of the brain, which would account for him being the most gigantic of assholes.

I end up driving off, however, without waiting. Because I'm still not sure if what I had witnessed even happened. I'm still shaking a bit from the adrenaline as I pull out of the parking lot. I realize that I may never witness something so bizarre ever again. And that makes me kind of sad, that the weirdness of this human experience has peaked.

No comments:

Post a Comment