The ritual of writing in the library has its own positive and negative things that collate with it. There is the positive of being literally surrounded by proof that what I want to do is still alive and well. When I look up at this moment I see the books, the classics that include Tennessee Williams, Eudora Welty and Kurt Vonnegut. I see the Mystery and Sci-fi, great books, and books that stretch the definition of literature to the very edge of what it can withstand. There is the reality aspect of writing in the library, having physical books that you can do real research on, no offense to Wikipedia, but sometimes I need to feel a substantial and in real life reference book, if for no other reason than because it helps me to get my head on right. When you research online the rest of the online world is right there tempting you to become a failed writer.
Keeping in the realm of positive there is the ability to talk to an actual person if you want, oh you know, have a conversation or just, you know remember what the people in the world look like after the isolation that is required in the land of the novelist. There is the beautiful architecture of the outside world when you are at the library in the downtown area. There is access to music and film, the free Wi-Fi, the ability to borrow a computer if you don’t have a laptop or if you just simply do not want to lug it with you everywhere in the free world. All these things are bright and beautiful but there is a dark side to the library, I wonder if Ben franklin ever foresaw these problems.
First, the homeless. This is not a anti homeless rant , I promise but they do sometime congregate in the areas with outlets and some of there have a pungency that make it just a little difficult to write , or read , or think for me. I accept that for many of the disenfranchised the library is a place that has bathrooms, heat, water and entertainment so I put them in because I am honest. If it is particularly hot or cold in Houston, the number of homeless rise to somewhat epic proportion but there is the option of getting a private room, which does somewhat negate part of the reasons that I come out but so is life.
Two, creepers. every once in a while I will look up and find that someone is staring , staring at me in a fashion that I can only describe as CREEPY AS FUCK . I mean that unblinking, I see you seeing me staring at you and I have no intention on stopping, kind of stare that I think is just unnatural. I mean whenever in my whole life , and the years are stacking up at this point , I was caught staring at someone , even if I was unaware that I was staring my natural inclination was to look away . There is an ingrained “Oh was I being creepy” alarm that goes off when you find yourself, you know, being creepy. But not these people. They stare. And just for the record I am not speaking of the homeless, many of whom are mentally ill and should be getting help but aren’t. No I am speaking of the regular old patrons. Regular old creeper patrons.
Lastly, and most disturbing of all, the public porn consumer. Hmmm…. How do I start? Ok. I know. I am not a prude. By a long shot. I watch porn. I have been a porn watch since the average person on the screen would have some amount of pubic hair and you could not simply turn on your computer, tablet or fucking phone and call up some filth at will. No, I am the last generation of people that had to, HAD TO, face the shame of going into a video store and tell the nice person behind the counter that “yes I am a little disgusting. “If you bought your porn at the local video store, you could buy 400 other movies and bury your copy of assmasters #7, girls just wanna be stretched (I just know it’s out there) in the pile. Or you could go to the adult book store, and hope you don’t meet anyone you know outside when you are coming back out with toe sucking for dummies or whatever you bought. But now there is porn everywhere. It is so easy to get porn now I have moment of panic whenever I Google search anything for fear of finding out about some new horrible porn. But this is still something that you should do alone. Or at the very least in private. If you are the type of man’s man that wants to watch porn with some of your buddies, I find it weird ,I will admit , that you want to be in a room full of erections but to each his own . But I do not want to. This is why the public porn consumer at the library always shocks me. Really dude? Really? You don’t see anything wrong with sitting across from another man, a stranger that is researching the effects of global warming or the cost of corn in Cambodia or cats that can sing or whatever and watch porn. Or even just open leg shots. I have seen people, men actually as I have never seen a woman do this, watch for hours. For hours! How can you watch sex for hours in a room full of strangers? HOW? I just have no idea. I can’t even watch to the end of a single scene once I am done with the porn. Once the sexual mania is off, and the orgasm is over I have no interest in the rest of the story! How oh lord how can you just stare blankly at the stream of naked people. I’m sorry but I really don’t understand. Especially and most importantly in a public place. With people passing you and seeing that you are a dirty dirty human.