About twice a week I frequent the public library to check out a new book or a free DVD. What can I say, I have never been able to justify buying a book that I will only read once and then place on some obscure shelf for visitors to use as a barometer of my intelligence or lack there of. I suppose if I read more intellectual things than Twilight, the latest Nicholas Sparks romance or Harry Potter I would be inclined to buy more books, but since I'm apparently a cross between a raving teenie bopper and a repressed middle-aged woman the "return policy" of the library suits me just fine.
Anyway, now that I'm finished explaining my pathetic book collection, let's move on. The other night when I stopped at the library I noticed something: Public libraries are not only places to check out books, but also serve as public shelters for homeless people and open forums for crazies. Now, I know these aren't new observations, and I'm not going to pass judgment on these down and out people. But, I think the problem is that us "normal" people are taking advantage of the library's leniency with these troubled people. What do I mean? Well, for example, the other night I walked into the library and this is what I experienced. As I locked up my bike I noticed a rather normal looking man reading outside and eating some dinner. When I passed this man, who again, I thought was completely normal, he ripped something that made me wish I was not only deaf at that moment, but also without the ability to smell. From that encounter I entered the library and saw a woman, dare I say, pretty normal breast-feeding her child on a bench next to the check out desk. She wasn't covered and now I was wishing I didn't have the ability to see. After passing the doting mother, I turned the corner to see a man gold digging for something up his nose as he looked through the new books. I stared at this one for a while wondering if he would stop after a couple seconds. Unfortunately, that did not happen, and again I wanted to pour kerosene into my eyes. From the miner, I went to the DVD section (to get my new fix of Veronica Mars - freaking great show*) and while looking through the "V" section I heard a man yell, yep yell, "Quiet!" at two kids who were laughing in the periodical section. Just to test my theory I walked over to the desks to see who had yelled, and as suspected, he was a normal looking man.
So, I go back to my original observation: Public libraries have become not only shelters for homeless and mentally disturbed people, but apparently, also places where even normal people can act completely crazy.
I didn't read that in the fine print for my library card application, but I'm going to start exercising that right. I think tonight I might go down there with no pants on and read a book on astronomy. Why? Because I can, and no one will say anything.
* Refer back to me being a raving teenie bopper.