I live in such a nice little town that meeting someone unpleasant is always a bit of a slap in the face. But it happens, of course. I guess no place is immune.
Yesterday, my daughter wanted to go to the library. She's 12, and she likes to visit "The Teen Place," a special room that houses all the YA offerings, along with a few tables and a line of computers. It has a neon sign and is very hip looking. I knew she'd come out with an armload of Manga books.
Well, I love the library. Our library is wonderful, and I'll use any excuse to go.
So I said I'd meet her around the bestseller area. Despite the fact I have a stack of book at homes waiting for me, new books always prove an irresistible lure. Well, I stuck my nose in a book for too long. I looked up and didn't see her, so I decided to go make sure all was well.
A man was standing in the doorway of The Teen Place. When I tried to get by him, he put up his arm, barring my entry. "Sorry," he said brusquely. "No one goes in or out. The police will be here in a few minutes."
My heart began to pound. What was going on? I pushed against his arm. "My daughter's in there," I said just as curtly. But he wouldn't let me by. Using his body to block me, he turned his back and started talking on his cell phone.
The room is very small, and peering over this idiot's arm, I could see my daughter wasn't in there. But other kids were - quietly studying or reading at the computers. Who was this guy? Something was fishy. He didn't have on a library badge. And the whole door-blocking thing was monumentally creepy. If I couldn't get in, did that mean those kids couldn't get out?
I took off at a trot - first things first. I had to find my daughter. And I did, almost immediately. She was waiting for me by the front door, thank goodness. We headed toward the reference desk.
"Excuse me," I said to the librarian. "The man barring the door to The Teen Place, the one not letting anyone in or out, is he with the library staff?"
The woman looked startled. "Excuse me?"
I knew it! "Yes," I continued. "And ... he says the police are coming?"
The woman jumped from her seat, and before you could say my name backwards, the library security staff was over talking to the guy. Turns out someone had (supposedly) stolen his son's cell phone, and he decided no one would leave or enter the premises until he got the police to come over and check things out.
My daughter and I left soon after. I didn't think the guy would be too thrilled that I'd spoiled his little lockdown. Besides, my library had lost its charm for the day.