Saturday, August 31, 2019


This works well as a duet with my previous posting, "Just Some Regular Guy"

I walked up to the circulation desk of my library and greeted the worker.

"Hi! How are you?"

Blank stare. Silence. Totally unsurprising. This happens a lot. I actually expect it.

"So, uh, you guys are holding a DVD for me! Here's my library card!"

Wordlessly, he turns back to the shelf, grabs my DVD, and silently hands it off to me.

At this point, my line would normally be a chipper "Thank you very much!", accompanied by an amiable grin. But I just couldn't muster it. I was obviously not a breathing human being for this person. I was a patron-unit, he'd performed his rote duty, and I couldn't see any reason to unilaterally maintain a sham display of social interaction.

So I did something I've seen many, many thousands of people do. I shifted my mind firmly toward my next errand, distractedly (not peevishly) took the DVD from his hand, and, making no eye contact, walked away.

I've never done this before. I have never not said "thank you". It felt strange, like a sentence lacking a period. It felt like shoplifting.

As I ambled toward the door, I spotted a reflection of the librarian in the glass. He was glaring at my back. At the rude monster.

You may imagine that I have insight into human psychology. I notice things seldom, if ever, noticed elsewhere, and make fresh, interesting connections. But I am nothing but a befuddled flabbergast. 56 years into this life, many of them spent tenaciously unknotting human behavioral mysteries, the workings of it all - at least when it comes to my own strange outcomes - are still completely unfathomable. None of it makes a lick of sense.

1 comment:

Display Name said...

Oof. I sent this to my librarian friend Conan the librarian. At his library where I volunteer and he works the circ desk we both think patrons are treated a bit too much like gods. This shit would never fly there.

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