Strange People

criminal_minds

Image by BattieQ via Flickr

My strange experiences at the library mounted.  I reserved a computer and sat down to login.

“Hello!”  A red head smiled broadly at me.  She looked me in the eye as if she knew me.

“Um, hello.”  I wore a half smile.  Who was she?  Do I know you?  She apparently seems to know me.

She kept staring at me with her chin resting in her hands and her elbows propped on the table.

“Um, do I know you?”  I tried to soften my words with a smile.  I didn’t want to seem rude, but she kept staring.

“I’m Betsy.”  She grinned.

“Oh, hi.”  I nodded and pretended sudden busyness. Great.  A loud, chatty person.  I just want to social network quietly and breathe in the silence of the library and the scent of musty books.

Eventually, she returned to her computer.  The problem with an online presence and networking with total strangers is trying to place a face in public to a face of your favorite blogger or twitter person.  In this case, Betsy was no one I followed, but it could have been someone.  I have several Arizona contacts that I have never met in person.  One lives in my town.  We’re neighbors.  One of these days we’ll meet in the grocery store.

Another woman reserved the computer next to me.

Chirp.  Snap.  Mumble.  Crinkle.  Squeak.  Snap.  Chirp.

She went to get her copies again and I peeked at her screen.  Why was she taking photos with her phone of the computer screen?  My mouth parted in an ‘oh.’ Professional shots of one woman in many seductive poses wearing skimpy clothing covered the screen.  The prints next to her computer were one of the same.  I’m not up on the hip-hop or celebrities, but the pictures looked like a cross between two stars from various movies.

Chirp.  Snap.  Mumble.  Crinkle.  Squeak. Snap.  Chirp.  Sigh.

People glanced up when her phone chirped.  She had the volume too high.  She looked between 18 and 20-years old, and completely unaware of her surroundings.

Chirp.  Snap.  Sigh.  Crinkle.  Squeak.  Snap.  Chirp.  Mumble.

The chair squeaked back again.  The copies crinkled as she took them and logged out of the computer.  I smiled, then.  What a distraction!

Squeak.  Tap-tap.

A man slid into the seat beside me.  He wore a hood over his face.  His hands were large.  I thought this man would play the part of a serial killer nicely.  He wore a hood indoors.  He slid into the seat by chance and logged into the reserved computer.  He never removed his hood.  He said nothing.  He didn’t blend in with the rest of the crowd.

Maybe I’ve been watching too many episodes of ‘Criminal Minds.’