Stretching My City Legs
Found myself pondering the monotony of life today. I walked around the usual places, the Veterinarian’s office, then Walmart, by the overdone apartment buildings, and up, up the hills.
When I returned home, I felt completely annoyed. Not because of the walk, but from knowing exactly what the rest of my day was going to look like. I would shower, take the dog outside, then go to the coffee shop. Soon enough, I would find myself writing daily paragraphs, then pondering this blog.
It left me feeling bland, boring and predictable. I didn’t like it. I needed some interaction, something to break things up.
When I first left the library, I stayed away because I didn’t want to be a pest. I thought my presence would be too distracting and I don’t think that was a bad decision. Two years since quitting and I still feel like a bother.
I went to the Main library first. Such an amazing building. I recall my first experiences with the construction, walking inside that building before it was open to the public, watching each floor rise up, then entering the building from the basement, entering what we called “the canyon”. What an amazingly beautiful building. I still feel that same amazement when I approach.
Inside, a great deal has changed.
Absence has made many things more glaring, stuff I used to ignore or find charming. Things are in disrepair, staff seem stressed, patrons are loud and rude, everything has a stale smell. My favorite moment-I was looking for a particular book, when from a row of public internet computers behind me, came the wettest, thickest coughing I have heard in years. Over and over, he coughed and in that instant, I had to leave. As I walked by the desk, I stole a few pumps of hand sanitizer. I felt dirty, disgusted by what I was hearing and seeing, and though I had experienced worse during my library career, this was too much.
It seems I am less calloused, less tough, less hearty than I used to be. It’s not like the library is serving a different demographic, and it hasn’t been overrun with transients or sickly persons. I was just acutely aware of it. The library hasn’t changed, I have.
I planned on heading home, renewing my routine, forgetting my discomfort at the repetitiveness of everything. I couldn’t, not with that horrible feeling in my head. I drove to the Foothill branch and instantly felt better. It may have had more to do with encountering familiar faces, friends and acquaintances, but it restored my faith in the library. I still don’t miss working there, and every patron encounter I witnessed, confirmed I don’t have that sort of patience any longer. The more removed I am from having to act a certain way, the less willing I am to every do that sort of work again. I admire my former co-workers for their efforts.
I still need more things to break up the week. I think I want to walk and take photos tomorrow. Anyone want in?