Library People Watching

Libraries are a good place to people watch. I am constantly surprised with the strange people and interesting activities of the library. Occurrence 1: The library apparently has a cat. I never see the cat or any evidence of a cat, but one morning I got there right as they opened and noticed a cat bed laying on top of one of the shelves. By the time I left that day, it had been removed. Occurrence 2: The retiree stalker. There is a man that is an obviously disabled veteran who often visits the library with his computer. I had noticed him almost daily and thought nothing of him until he took notice of me. Once he noticed me, he started really creeping me out. At first he would just sit in a desk directly behind me and stare at the back of my head for hours. Then, it was the staring and heavy breathing. I started to consciously try to avoid him and sit a couple desks away from him. This seemed to encourage him more, so that he would sit in front of me, turn in his seat, smile and stare at me while doing the heavy breathing routine. Finally, after weeks of this, it came to a head. He finally came up to me and asked me to lunch. I decline (politely) and he stood there for a solid minute or two just smiling at me, apparently expecting me to reconsider. At this point, I’d had about enough and was about to complain to the library staff about him, but didn’t want to disrespect a veteran who probably was mentally ill. I was sitting 2 desks behind him one day when a little girl, about 8, sat down between us. He turned around and began chatting her up and making her visibly uncomfortable. He offered to let her play on his computer, assuring her, when she said her mother said not to, that it was completely safe. She looked at me as if to ask ‘should I do it?’, I shook my head at her. She avoided him until her mother arrived, but I had decided that it was time to make (a discrete) complaint about the man. I planned to do it the next time I saw him so that I could point him out to the library staff, but, thankfully, he never returned.

~ by accordingtoleanne on November 22, 2009.

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