The Gestapo librarian


(Originally posted 08/04/12 at Trojan Horse Productions.)

Officer Nasty works security at the library. He doesn’t wait for trouble to happen or for someone to ask him for help. Instead, he constantly patrols the whole place looking for people who may be breaking the rules, so he can put them out. He walks up and down the narrow aisles of the computer center to see what you have on your screen. He comes into the men’s room hoping to catch someone in the act — act of what, I can’t imagine. You get the picture.

The wi-fi cafe at the library is about 15 feet inside the front door. My custom was, if I weren’t going back to the computer center (about 60 feet from the front door), to stash my two heavy bags in there when I went out for a smoke break, and then pick them up when I’d come back in. Saturday 06/09/12 he told me I couldn’t do that, but must take the bags with me.

There were conversations behind that, and e-mails exchanged (Not naming him, but only asking about the rules.) with big shots, and over the course of a couple weeks I learned new ways to handle my bags so as to not draw his attention. It was simple enough.

I found nevertheless that part of me — the impulse to seek or make trouble, which I may as well call here “the itch” — still wanted to bring a complaint and make this all out as some kind of personal vendetta against me. Perhaps he wanted to make it that much more inconvenient for me, and that much more obvious to other people, that I have those two heavy bags and am homeless.

But the fact is, in light of the actual facts of the situation, that in order to make a complaint like that, I’d have to concoct some fiction — to make up some story — to lie. And I’m not willing to do that in this case.

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