The library staff posted that sign at the entrance to the Northern District Library today.
The Northern District Library would not be the Northern District Library if it wasn’t for screaming children. Something is wrong when there aren’t children screaming. The Toddler Union rules do not allow a child to scream for more than 10 minutes. As soon as a child reaches the ten-minute limit of screaming, another child starts. And so it goes.
The sounds of screaming children blends with the cell-phone conversations, people laughing and talking, and more cell phone conversations, and more people laughing and talking. I keep looking for ear plugs, or muffs, that block out noise completely. No luck so far.
So now they say that on Thursday the noise level may be “louder than normal”? Impossible! The noise level at the Northern District Library cannot get any louder. But I could be wrong. I will find out Thursday.
I would love to know what goes on in the minds of the interesting people I see that the library. They have reasons for what they do that make sense in some dimension, but not in this one.
At the Northern District Library, there’s a young man in his early twenties. Each day he sprawls in a cushioned chair and sleeps. Occasionally he wakes up and goes into the washroom and sits on a toilet. Nothing wrong with that except that he leaves his pants up. He does not do anything except sit on the toilet, with his pants up, and stare.
I am not a voyeur. Numerous times I go into the washroom to do a word that sounds like sit. I can see him through the crack in the stall doorway sitting with his pants up and staring. His eyes are in his head, but his mind is in an amusement park in a city in a country on a planet far, far away.
I have never timed how long he sits and stares, but it’s over an hour.
Once he finishes sitting and staring, he returns to his cushioned chair and goes back to sleep. Sleeping and then sitting and staring are the only things he does all day at the library.
I would love to know what he is thinking while he sits and stares.
Somewhere in my aura is a sign with the words:
TALK TO ME. TALK TO ME. TALK TO ME.
Only people who are occasionally buried by squirrels can see this sign.
There’s a woman who comes to the Northern District Library, every day, after she digs herself out from where a squirrel buried her. She has short gray hair, a pointed nose, and a pointed chin. She wears black horn-rimmed glasses, and looks like a spinster librarian I used to see when I was a kid.
She sits in a chair, in the study area of the library, and occasionally shouts out an irrelevant sentence—well irrelevant to those around her. Her words must mean something to her . . .
“It works with children and parents.”
“My brother-in-law is sick and can’t come over Saturday.”
“Find ways to reward yourself.”
These are some of the sentences she has shouted out. Her shouts are sporadic. She may go an hour without shouting a single sentence, and then shout two sentences five or ten minutes apart. There’s no method in her madness. Between the sporadic shouting of single sentences, she sits and stares into space. Sometimes she reads a newspaper. We library patrons ignore her when she sounds off, and pretend she did not say anything. I have never seen her talking to anyone. She shouts into space. She never stays too long, and usually gets up and leaves after several intermittent shouts.
The other day I heard her say, “Don’t rape anyone here. Go to Madison Square Garden.”
Like everyone else, I ignored her.
“Did you hear me? I said don’t rape anyone here.”
I looked up from my book. She was looking at me! She was talking to me!
“If you’re going to rape anyone, then do it at Madison Square Garden. Don’t do it here. Did you hear me?”
A voice in my head said, “Don’t say anything.” I didn’t. I looked at her, but sat trembling with terror thinking, “Oh no! What is she going to do next?”
“You do all your raping at Madison Square Garden. Don’t do any here.”
Then she got up and left.
Whew! What a relief.
I don’t know her name. I never gave her a name before, but from now on she is Miss Madison.
I made an appointment to see a metaphysician. I’m not sure my health insurance will cover the cost, but I want to get that sign removed.
“You’re just a piece of garbage to me, and I have no use for you!”
The speaker was a man. He shouted this at me as he walked towards me this morning. I was just about to sit at a table at the Northern District Library.
This man was carrying four plastic grocery bags and wearing several layers of clothing. He had an ashen face, and I could see madness dancing in his pale blue eyes.
He stopped about 5 feet (1.5 meters) away from me and said, “I got no use for you, you piece of garbage.” Then he turned and walked away.
What a relief! I don’t care what people say to me as long as they don’t hit me.
I don’t know this man. I have never seen him before. How did he arrive at the conclusion that I was a piece of garbage? Was he talking to members of my family?
If I had spoken to him, then I would have told him that he was wrong about me being useless. I would have said that I was useful to him as a sounding board for his madness.
The North York Central Library closed on December 5 for renovations. It is supposed to open in three months. I now hang out at the Northern District Library at Yonge and Eglinton. It’s a much smaller library, but the Wi-Fi signal does not weaken the way it did at the North York Library.
I saw Mr. Ping here yesterday. His war with me has never ended. Since blogging about him at the North York Library, he never stopped hovering behind me as if he was going to blow on my neck. He also likes to glare at me. Yesterday, he walked towards me sinisterly laughing and then walked away. As usual, I ignored him.
I did not see Mr. Ping today. Perhaps he returned to his home planet.
Another nutbar approached me yesterday in the afternoon. Actually, “approached” is the wrong word. He rushed up to where I was sitting, minding my business, and started making a big fuss over my book holder. He was in his forties, had a round face with short brown hair. He wore black nerdy glasses. The name “Poindexter” came to mind.
Loudly he said, “Wow! What a great idea! It’s so ergonomic!”
Then he asked about the water-bottle addition and I explained how it stops the book holder from falling over. I talked quietly, but he was so loud.
“Did you think of that yourself?” he asked.
“Wow! You’re clever, very clever! What a clever idea!”
How embarrassing. Other library patrons were looking.
“I think the library should supply book holders,” he said. “I’m going to suggest to the librarian that the library should have book holders for people to borrow.”
He quickly walked away. I thought that I was free of Poindexter, but he surrounded me later on while I was packing up to leave.
“So, what creative things did we accomplish today?” he asked as loudly as ever.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t like to talk about it,” I said.
“I see. I don’t like talking about inventions until they are patented,” he said as he quickly walked away.
Poor Poindexter, someone must have trampled all over his boundaries.
The Northern District Library, at Yonge and Eglinton, still had its Christmas tree up. It is made of books! I have never seen a Christmas tree made of books and thought it a wonderful idea. (I took a picture of it using Pixie, my new cell phone, to post in this blog, but the picture was too blurry. I later discovered that Pixie still had protective plastic over her lens.)
The idea is not new. I borrowed a picture from the A. L. Freelander Learning Center in North Carolina. The Northern District Library’s book-tree is the same size as the smaller tree in this picture. The Northern District librarian said that she had seen a picture online of a book Christmas tree and “the creative teens” who frequent the library built it once she supplied the books and green paper to cover the books. She said that she did not have a lot of green books so green book covers worked just as well.
I believe in the Spirit of Christmas all-year round. I do not celebrate Christmas which means that I do not bother with Christmas decorations. How joyful I feel thinking about the creativity involved in making a Christmas tree with books! If I ever make one, then I will leave it up all-year round. Merry Christmas!