Friday, July 28, 2017

Keeping Pace at the Library

A customer told me that something strange was happening in the community room.

"You see her?"

A tall, thin lady was pacing the room, arms crossed.

"She's been doing that for the last thirty minutes!"

From a distance Jonah and I watched the woman hypnotically walk in exactly same route around the community room, again and again and again.

"Should we ask her if she's okay?"

"Let's let her go another few rounds," I said. "Maybe she's about to set a world record?"

"It's like watching a fish in a bowl."

I went back to my desk. A man came up and bellowed at me.


He pointed behind me.

"Chocolates? No? Do you want a Chromebook...?"


He was getting mad.


He wanted the Clorox Wipes. I handed over the tube. The man proceeded to pull out wipe after wipe, as if a whimsical magic trick. After pulling out a couple dozen sheets, he went off to presumably take a bath with them.

"That black baby doesn't have its head," said another customer, going past. "Maybe it's in the trash?"

For an instant I thought there was a killer on the loose, decapitating black babies...? And then putting the heads in the trash...?? But it turned out that the baby from the children's area had lost its head. Oh: haha.

Zani came over to me. "I'm saying a Jewish prayer for that head." And then she winked.

"Right. Ha, ha?"

It was near closing time. Earlier I had told Jonah that one of our coworkers had tried to kill themselves a few years ago by hanging. I had not solicited the information, but now I was passing on the savings to Jonah. He wished I had not told him.

"Anyway, where is Coworker? Is she hanging around somewhere?"

Jonah groaned.

"Sorry. It's just that she's the linchpin in our schedule today."


I went around to close the library. The lady was still walking in circles. But we had a bigger problem. Mr Wipes was in the unisex bathroom. Apparently he hadn't heard our closing announcements. I knocked on the door.

"Uh, sir? Sir?"

Nothing. Then the light winked off under the door, and I heard heavy breathing.

"Great. Time for the jizz festival."

I wasn't sure what to do. More minutes ticked off. I heard grumblings. How much jizzing did a fellow need to do? I decided it was time to call security. They told me to call the police. But the dispatcher also suggested that I write a note and slip it under the door. I was doing just that, pausing in how to word the note just right (PLEASE GET OUT NOW... SIR? PINCH IT OFF... THE BUILDING IS ON FIRE... etc.), when Wipes came tearing out of the bathroom.

"Hello!" I said. "Can you hear me? Sir?"

He grunted at me and raced past me for the elevators.

"Sir! The elevator is locked...!"

He veered to the stairs. Once on the first floor he asked for more wipes. He pulled out another twenty or so, and then raced out the door.

The lady was still pacing the community room. Jonah was watching her in fascination. I crossed my arms and went into the community room.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm joining her!"

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