Once again I find myself skipping out on the daylight and instead breathing in the dust of old books. I’m not complaining exactly, as I consider the library- any library- to be a home away from home. There’s something about the overwhelming inevitability that no matter how hard one tries, one could never defeat the endless sea of intellectual challenges the library has to offer. Perhaps Stephen Fry could have a crack at it, but I very much doubt his success.
Naturally you’d expect my primary motive of my being here to be some sort of research paper- however I will admit to spending my afternoon youtubing, facebooking and general tomfoolery. I have adjusted myself in my seat a number of times- hard chairs, though a seemingly foolproof plan to keep students awake*- are a royal and literal pain in the… you understand.
Anyway the Library-Guy is back. I spend most of my library existence in the Family History Section, on the second floor. My reasoning surrounds the idea that it is generally less populated than the rest of the library and having a table to ones self is almost guaranteed. The fifth floor of the library- notorious for “mingling” (finding one’s E.C., etc)- does not appeal to me in the slightest considering the notion that I cannot promise myself that I could ever be remotely productive (forget what I said about youtubing). Also, I’m almost certain that sitting up there is a sure way to contract the latest popular flu or cold. Next time you’re up there, sit and listen to the incessant coughing and sniffing and you’ll understand.
Back to the library guy. The Library-Guy spends every possible library hour here in the family history section. He sits at the back table, usually without a computer, and he studies all. day. long. I can imagine my father reading this and approving greatly, but honestly- who can sit in the same position for over 12 hours. I’ve studied the guy and his feats are sincere- his head is near constantly down, pouring over books, making cautious notes and almost silently turning pages. I’m dying to get a look at his transcripts, for I know- I just KNOW that he must have straight A’s.
He looks at me sometimes. I think he must know- must be able to feel, somehow, my eyes on him, watching him in the most stalkerish of fashions. His eyes slip up and lock onto mine, and always, I am far too intrigued to flip my glances elsewhere in an embarrassed fumble to recover myself. So instead we both hold our breath in the most awkward 5 second wormholes that seem to last forever until one of us comes to our senses and drops our eyes back down to our books (or youtube).
Imagine my surprise when I begin to notice Library-Guy in all of my other usual spots. Smith’s. My route home. Church. It startles us both to see each other outside of our book-walled prison, and every time we participate in our strange eye-locking ritual. I suppose it’s rather Austen-esque in theory, but what’s more intriguing to me at this point is the fact that this has been an almost year-long situation and neither of us has crossed that invisible line, over which talking to one another would be considered impolite and self-confessing.
*Let the record show that despite the design of the hard chair, I managed to take a ten minute nap. This should first inform you that I am a senior and have mastered the ways of the library- and secondly you should no doubt be impressed at my ability to sleep in a public place. My next feat will be an airport- though