Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bathroom Monologue: Quiet in the Library

Four teens at the counter. The aged, permed librarian talks louder than any of them, about PIN codes and dates of birth and where you sign. When a fifty-ish woman in a red coat crosses from the other side, the librarian yells, "There's my sweet. Girl, you look good."

A-C. Unattended.

D-M. Unattended.

Audiobooks. Unattended.

Six computers, five in use, two occupants who won't shut up. They whisper at each other about what they're doing on Facebook - by the sound, the photos they are sending each other in real time.A third occupant leaves her computer to run in circles around the other two, to see it all. She is obediently silent in her orbit. She only pauses to take a single earbud, pulsing so loud with tunes that it can be heard two stations over.

N-SAN. Unattended.

S-TAN. Unattended.

Printer screeches.

A man steps out into the vestibule so he can hear his cellphone. Something important about where his honey is tonight. He puts his hand over his mouth in excitement, but you can still hear him through the glass.

Even the computers hum a little obtrusively. At least they're always here. Maybe they've forgotten the rules.

Or maybe he's forgotten to check if they've changed.


  1. Thank you John. I use the library frequently and have wondered also if the old rule about being quiet has been repealed. Shhhhhhhhh!

  2. Libraries used to be quiet. Then someone decided that was too offputting. Now they are as bad as a street corner.

  3. I'm at the library again today. Heck yeah, computers, lighting and heat. But people here will not shut up.

    Street corners aren't offputting? I'll have to try one later.

  4. The library at PCC drives me crazy -- it's impossible to get any studying done in an academic library. When I'm a library, children are going to get the shushing of their lives. Great work, John! Your dedication to your craft in the middle of an ice storm is amazing.

  5. My local librarians would never put up with such nonsense..

  6. Well, Mr. Solender, please get your librarians to replicate and spread their breed around to some more counties.


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