Peculiar as Love

How odd, how strange…
This love has become.

Love’s sleek expression…
Love’s rash chance…
Love’s honesty…

The lesson learned before:
What is true is not fleeting.

How is it possible…
Winter is mildest in the summer.
Leaves never fall in the spring.
The sun is always lit in the night sky.

How odd,
How strange,
This love will remain…

Fools Cry Twice

They once met under a lovelorn tree.  Three words kept them close.  She laid in his lap, looking up, her long hair spread over the fallen leaves.

She said, “Make my every dream come true.” In her eyes was a time still to come, a space to be filled. He replied, “If what you seek can’t be attained, I would stretch across the bounds of impossibility.”  He forgot to ask if she’d do the same.

They kissed under the cool Sun, a lotus dripped from their lips.  She rose to stand.  In front of him, she blocked the Sun from his eyes.  Something was wrong now, the creases around her oculi read disappointment.  She rushed from in front of the Sun, leaving his eyes bare to the hot rays.  Burning in anguish he regained his visual and she vanished, only leaving a shadow.

Frantic, he circled the tree twice.  His emotions hid in vagary, and she was gone.  He must have looked under every leaf to find her smile.  The tree rotted into clay, her shadow swallowed the skies and the rain came. He was naked and unprotected from the hard rain. Recollection crashed, and a memory once known dissolved.

In pain, he looked up and the rain drizzled over him.  He implored her to return.  The clouds thickened and the rain hit harder.  His skin bled.  He begged the skies for an understanding, and thunder roared.  Once more he wailed, and lightning struck.

It struck him twice on the right side of my chest.  Penetrated to the soul. His flesh surged.  His eyes opened and from his mind emerged a new world.

His heart shuttered and he awoke brand new.  His spirit bowed to the brilliance of the moon, the capstone of the darkness.  His body lifted from a soft rock.  At his back were a thousand trees shaped like the one he remembered.  He thought of her, but the moon lit brighter, and he was at ease.  A wave hit the back of his heel, an ocean promising tranquility stretched out to the distance.  Distant stars manifested the wonders of the new sense, he was not blind anymore.

Achievement rested on his shoulders, his body quivered and the moon dimmed.  He turned around once more and there she stood.  The moon’s light passed her and the trees retreated.  He approached her and the ocean called him back.  He stopped!  She called to him and he took two more steps toward her, but the clouds returned enveloping the moon and the stars.  She lamented, “I made a mistake, and I never meant to leave.”  Sand poured from her tongue as she spoke and the ocean behind him shrank to an oasis.  She was in quick sand now.  She needed him.  He wanted to help.  He took another step and the doves turned to dust.

He began to cry as the sand held her.  In her hands were two tears, she threw one to him and asked me to drink with her, for then they could suffer together.  The ground rumbled as he put the tear to his lips and the oasis disappeared.  He decided not to drink and instead threw the tear to the earth.  She lamented.

Paradise slowly reappeared as he watched the sand consume her.  He cried.  A last tear rolled down his cheeks.  She was gone, and he was relieved.  He stood in the shallow realms of glory, conjuring up the courage to take a dive in the deep end of redemption.  The wind curls his physique, she reappears next to him, and he smile.  The wind blows once more and she‘s gone forever.

Women’s World: 9 Notable ‘Sheroes’ in Comic Books

In honor of Women’s History MonthI know I’m lateI want to dedicate this post to the reader that loves comics and loves reading comics with leading female characters. Initially, I wanted to write about female authors making an impact on the industry. However, how easy would that have been to name a few authors who may or may not inspire me as a reader and/or writer. This post focuses solely on notable female characters that enhance an already good and impactful storythose that I read. (I don’t read everything or anything. I’m sure there are plenty of stories out there that I will never get to.)


1) Kamala Khan – Ms. Marvel (2014), Marvel

msmarvelKamala Khan is a young Pakistani-American and Muslim teenager living in Jersey City, New Jersey. Kamala made a cameo in Captain Marvel #14 (2013). She is hardly noticeable, appearing in one panel as an innocent bystander. She recently debuted in her very own solo feature: Ms. Marvel #1 (2014) written by G. Willow Wilson.

Kamala was a hit from the start! She accidentally became an Inhuman after being engulfed in a cloud of ‘Terrigen Mist’, a toxic gas that has the power to kill or change humans into mutants. Kamala survived the initial process and gained the power of elasticity.

More inspirational is the way Kamala manages her personal life with her “responsibilities” as a crime-fighter and eventually a member of the New Avengers team. Her family and friends are deeply (and sometimes unknowingly) involved in her development into maturity, a uniquely telling factor in her likability as a shero. She is not a loner and as much as she tries to run away from those important to her, she reflects and returns to all the essential aspects of life and love.

No need for the “look at me I’m a girl with powers!” rhetoric, she’s a superhero! Much respect, Ms. Marvel, you have a fan in me… and my 3-year old son! Read this comic, you will not be disappointed!

2) Shå – The Spire (2015), BOOM! Studios

thespireThe Spire is a mountain twisting high up from toxic wastelands in Simon Spurrier’s fantasy world. Shå is the “Commander of the Watch”. Despite her rank and dedication to the city she falls victim to incessant racism being the only one of her species left in the city. She’s a brilliant detective and leader. Her story is interesting because her love life and her adversaries are linked. She is constantly running from a number of things in her life, but sooner or later she will have to confront them.

If you are a sci-fi geek or just love new world fantasy, the Spurrier and Stokely combo on this short series is worth a look and an open wallet. I can read these books over and over and each time find a new detail.

3) Astrid Mueller – Clean Room (2015), Vertigo

astridEveryone wants to know: who is Astrid Mueller?! One thing is certain about this master of manipulation, she’s scary…very scary. Gail Simone really let loose with this horror. Astrid, a woman who once as a girl was the target of a very hateful crime, grew into a mysterious leader of a self-help cult. Her empire rests soundly with the Clean Room, where she traps her victims and makes them experience their life’s worst moments and fears.

Astrid may be a psychology guru or a psychic or just plain crazy. But, there are things to admire about her character. She knows exactly what she wants and who she needs and who she needs to be rid of.

As a reader I have no idea what Astrid wants, but I am deeply involved in this compelling story! Read it! This gruesome tale will likely be on television in the future.

4) Michonne – The Walking Dead (2003), Image

michonneYou all know her! The famous African-American sword-lady that is a favorite to what is probably the most exciting horror series in comics and on television. Aside from Rick Grimes, the now rugged ex-cop, Michonne is the next essential piece – and probably the coolest character – in Robert Kirkman’s zombie thriller and AMC’s masterpiece.

I have to say, the quality of writing on Michonne’s initial development goes positively to AMC’s The Walking Dead writers, and not to Robert Kirkman. When Michonne came on the scene in issue #19 of the comics, she was conflicted and horny and everything that is wrong with [white] men writing about [black] women. (Still, kudos to Kirkman for creating a Michonne. It was a great move.) I’m glad AMC is showing her in good light.

One thing is true, if Michonne gets killed off in a bogus way in either the comic or TV show series, TWD will have lost a fan. She is too smart and too good at killing zombies and eliminating her adversaries for me to believe that she is not capable of seeing it to the end.

5) Alana and Hazel – Saga (2013), Image

sagaAlana is Hazel’s mother, and Hazel is narrating the story of her mother and father in this epic space fantasy from Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. The story begins with the married couple, a pregnant Alana and Marko – who are from two opposing extraterrestrial races – evading multiple authorities that shun the union. What pursuing organizations are not aware of is, well, Hazel. Alana and Marko are hoping to keep Hazel a secret, but it’s proving difficult.

While the story is told from Hazel’s point of view, the first arc is mostly about Alana and Marko. Alana is written as a very sexual being, impatient and adventurous. She is without a lot of caution which is partially the reason for her and Marko’s troubles. Quite and upbeat character who doesn’t dull as the series continues.

Hazel is just a girl trying to make sense of her world. Many thanks to Vaughan for his vision and Staples for the artistic creation in bring Hazel to life. Hazel reminds me—as a parent—of any infant/child/headache, pure and leaves you questioning your own life. As a reader I look forward to her growth and I want to see the reverse effect of her and her parents relationship. Alana and Marko placed Hazel in danger with their ‘love goals’ and as Hazel grows she may place them in danger. It’s all a cycle.

This comic series is beautiful, literarily and artistically. It’s a well-acclaimed book and I look forward to reading it in its entirety. It resonates greatly with mixed-race families, lovers of Romeo and Juliet, Star Wars fans, space opera lovers and cool people in general. Not one to miss!

6) Dana and Martha Cypress – Revival (2012), Image

revivalTim Seeley is the mastermind behind this rural-noir science fiction that puts an interesting twist on the zombie genre. The story is set in a small rural town in Wisconsin, that bcomes the center of all news following the aftermath of a day when the dead arose back to life. There are many elements to the story and the relationship between two sisters—Dana and Martha (Em) Cypress—helps focus the plot in very nice ways. It is a blood and guts tale, but one that captivates you even when the story is too much and you just want to close your eyes.

Dana Cypress is a big sister, a mother and a police officer. She tries to be a positive role model for a younger sister and a growing son, but she is constantly falling short. She is, however, always attempting to be there for her family. Dana is a great central character.

Martha Cypress is a reviver. She struggles with being “dead”, but also with the fact of her death. (*Spoiler: Martha was murdered, but doesn’t remember who her killer was.) She is a loner, but has an annoying sister – Dana – who is always attempting to be there.

Dana and Martha are the perfect siblings. Their affection passes one another, but they are still sisters. They are down for each other and it’s showing throughout the story.

7) Agent 355 – Y: The Last Man (2002), Vertigo

355Agent 355 is a very sexy—if she knew it—dark-skinned government agent that has been tasked with protecting what is essentially the last man on Earth, Yorick Brown. This series also comes from Brian K. Vaughan—writer of Saga (2012)—who is hitting on all cylinders right now. Y: The Last Man is a post-apocalyptic science fiction drama following the aftermath of a day when, all but one man, suddenly die.

Agent 355 is special because of her teasing relationship with Yorick Brown. Yorick is the only man left in the world and so the demands and directives from Agent 355 can be a bit annoying for him. Since the story is mostly told from Yorick’s perspective, Agent 355 comes off as the motherly figure that never lets up. Deep down she deeply cares for Yorick and is probably the only one that can save his life. Yorick’s story falls short without Agent 355.

This book may be on your television set soon. Be sure to read it.

8) All the Women on … – Bitch Planet (2014), Image

bitchplanetDon’t be put off by this title it perfectly sums up a feminist dystopian reality in an off-planet prison. This beautiful and raw creation comes to us from Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine de Landro.

Bitch Planet has an ‘Orange is the New Black’ kind of fill, but which is much more rugged and to the point of the demands of the prisoners. There is a lot of violence, cursing, sadness and joy in this series. All of the female characters are well-written. While all of the criticism following the release of Bitch Planet has not been positive, I see a lot of promise in this story. It especially has the power to share with young adult readers of fiction aspects of feminism.

9) Juliette – Wool: The Graphic Novel (2013), Cryptozoic

woolThis is Hugh Howey’s best-selling novel, Wool, but in graphic novel or comic format. Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray introduced Juliette in book 2 of this fast-paced six-issue post-apocalyptic mystery. Juliette is a mechanical engineer in an unspecified future dystopia where the last humans live in silos extending deep underground.

It is a story about class, equality and power. Juliette is not shown as a daring character until she is caught in the middle of a political conspiracy. She is forced to make hard decisions to save her life and the life of others – those unconscious of what is going on in and outside of the silos.  In what started as a series of novels, these comics are a great read! 


I do have a few honorable mentions to share: 1) Paper Girls (2015) by Brian K. Vaughan; 2) Captain Marvel (2016) by Michele Fezekas; 3) and Mystery Girl (2015) by Paul Tobin are all fun series with leading female characters.

Thanks for reading!!!

China: Part 2 – Hangzhou

After experiencing a chilling Beijing winter, we were looking forward to a southern and warmer side of China.  While planning our trip to China we made the decision to visit Hangzhou after reading how it has been for centuries a culturally cherished spot by China’s own poets and scholars .  We read that there is a high concentration of tourists in Hangzhou all year round.   What guide books will not tell you is that the “tourism” refers mostly to Chinese citizens as tourists and not foreign tourists.  Either way it wouldn’t have mattered to us, but for your information you will not be running into very many “Westerners” if that was your intent for travel.

(I really must stress how easy it is to travel from city to city in China.  It’s much easier than anything I’ve ever experienced in the USA.  To get from Beijing to Hangzhou by train (equivalent of a trip from Chicago to New Orleans) in under 6 hours is absolutely amazing.)


We arrived in Hangzhou by train in the early afternoon.  Just as we expected the weather was great!  It was time for vacationing in Hangzhou’s West Lake area.

To our surprise there was even less English speakers in Hangzhou than in Beijing.  It wasn’t a huge deal, it just took a bit to adjust.  Even still, I liked Hangzhou right away.  The first thing I noticed aside from the weather was how clear the air was.  Although, Hangzhou experiences smog we wouldn’t have to deal with it.

Our hotel room was tiny, but we had water, heat, and a bedbug free bed.  Our hotel did allow smoking in the room, so the mattress smell was annoying.  (The grandest hotels do not allow smoking.  If cigarette smoke is a hazard to you, you may want to pay a little more to ensure that you don’t have to deal with it in your living quarters.)

My wife loves to play it by the book.  We thought we knew what we wanted in Hangzhou, but little did we know our real culture shock would come in Hangzhou and not Beijing.  Most of our planning went by the wayside when guidebooks proved to be unreliable.  The rate of growth and change in Hangzhou is spectacular and fast-paced.  Something that was said to be there a year prior might not be there present day.  Fortunate for us, we are walkers and we got lucky with a hotel deal in an area just a 7-minute walk east of West Lake.  We were also very close to markets and restaurants.

We would end up having a great time… in routine.  I found a breakfast place that I loved to go to each morning called “Xie Xie” just east of West Lake.  It is a modern style of cafe.  Their menu was a perfect combination of traditional Chinese and Western style breakfast, lunch and dinner. The service was great!  I dislike most cafes, but Xie Xie was my place.  It was around the new year when we found Xie Xie and they had a Christmas playlist on repeat…the same playlist.  My wife hated that part of it, but I didn’t mind it.  Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” is embedded in my long-term memory.


We did a full walk around West Lake.  It took us about 4 hours to walk it excluding our stop at a couple of places in between.  (Bikes are available for rent.  If you don’t like walking then bike it!  It would be just as beautiful.) A great workout.  Very romantic.  We had a lot of “fans”.  We took a lot of pictures with the Chinese along the way.  I must be on so many people’s Chinese “face” pages.  (I wonder what the captions are?)  The attention a foreigner will receive shouldn’t feel so strange.  It’s mostly cool, and people are mostly just excited to see you.  It’s very rare for this attention to turn dangerous.  One thing is for sure, the sights along the lake are quite beautiful and unique.  I could’ve stayed around that lake for a good while.

One of our notable stops just north-west of the lake was the China Tea Museum.  This museum has a nice setup and one can learn a lot about tea culture essential to Chinese culture and as an export.  The museum was very well manicured and its front law is tea plantation.  Very beautiful with a nice rocky hill at its backdrop.  There was a restaurant nearby (which I forget the name) that we wanted to eat at, but it was packed.  The wait time to be seated was over an hour.  Lines out the door some 200 feet (60m).  Next time.


One of my favorites and a Hangzhou gem for relaxation is the Hanyan Coffee House located just east of West Lake.  The best rose tea in town.  I even got the chance to try a fruit salad.  Nice delicious fruit spread… with mayonnaise sauce!  “Ewwwww…”  I couldn’t do it.  I got weird looks from Hanyan staff when I asked for the fruit without the mayonnaise, but the sweet and sour is just not in my tastebuds.  Sorry Hangzhou!  We went to Hanyan Coffee House every night before trekking back to the hotel for sleepies.  A beautiful and unique place to chill.

Other notable restaurants for Hangzhou are the “Fat Duck” which is located a 15 minute cab ride north of West Lake, and “Dong Yi Shun” located on the very popular Goayin Street.  Dong Yi Shun features a blend of Middle Eastern and Western Chinese dishes that are no less than yummy.  If in town give these restaurants a chance!  You won’t be sorry.

There was so much more that we wanted to do in Hangzhou, but fortunate for us we found a routine that we liked as far as eating was concerned.  We we enjoy the places we weren’t able to fit in on the next trip.

To be continued…




China: Part 1 – Beijing

My wife and I had a wonderful, eye-opening and sometimes tiresome two-week trip to China. It’s truly a beautiful country and if ever you have the opportunity to hitch a plane ride to the East then I advise you take it straight to Beijing or Shanghai. China has a lot to offer the active mind. I imagine that a dozen trips wouldn’t be enough to capture ‘what is China’. With that point in mind we’ve experienced a lot that I can’t really relate, but will try.

Walking into Beijing felt like walking into a labor camp. I would later regret this feeling. Stepping off the train we took into Beijing (Shanghai to Beijing) the air was suffocatingly thick with the smell of coal. The people around us looked sick, people were sick and I could feel myself getting sick. I did not want to be there. (There is a reason people wear the surgical masks, get one).

We immediately experienced the Beijing smog while commuting to our hotel and we could not see two feet (.6 m) in front of us. Apparently this happens more frequently in the winters. It was cold and dry.

Tiananman Square & Forbidden Palace

We booked a hotel in a nice area called Dungsi (pronounciation: dung-suh). It was fairly close to all the tourist attractions, without being in the middle of all the chaos. One important thing is that it was one block from a Beijing metro stop which is very easy to navigate once you get going. (*Note: Beijing and Shanghai probably have the best public transportation systems in the world.) No one at our hotel spoke English, but people were amazingly nice and it was awesome. Do your research before you go! We got lucky that our hotel had great Wifi, and that we purchased a good VPN service before going. (*Note: Get a Yahoo! email account before traveling to China, your Gmail and AOL will be blocked.) These are musts when you are a budget traveler. We didn’t want to really rely solely on help across the language barrier.

In general, people did not speak English wherever we ventured in China. And, this is FINE! The Chinese were very patient with both my wife and I. It was not their fault we did not understand Chinese when traveling in a country that uses Cantonese and Mandarin as it national languages. On our end we did not become frustrated and blame our hosts for not speaking English. One time my wife and I were arguing with a cab driver for 10 minutes before we realized what one another was saying. Which in any city in the States an interaction like that would have probably ended badly after just a minute – (“Get the f**k out of my cab, now!”).

We enjoyed a tour of the Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden palace and the Great Wall of China. We purchased a package online through a phenomenal tour company. It included an all-English tour to all three sites with a lunch at Subway (worst part of the trip) for about $115/person. The driver and tour guide picked us up and dropped us off directly at our hotel. We recommend you doing this to bypass all the insane tourism to these places. You get in and get out with very little hassle. And, it’s cheap for you anyway.

Mutianyu – Great Wall

The Great Wall of China was absolutely amazing. It’s engineering and its magnitude will leave you speechless. We only walked 2 miles of it and it was so physically demanding which puts one in an even higher state of awe. The Great Wall defeated immigration. When you think of that impossibility you get a sense of the wall’s significance. There is an estimated number of one million people that died building the wall over the solid 200 consistent years of its construction – which was still being added to until more recently when it was being torn down by scavengers using it for materials – but this number is likely deflated. We’ve heard other stories that may put this number closer to 10 – 20 million, but who really knows. Go see it! It is unlike any other “wall” you will ever see in your life time! A true wonder!

View on the way up to the Wall

Our guide did not walk the wall with us. She was so tired after one mile that she couldn’t go further. She told us to go ahead on our own. We did. We hit one of the steepest areas of the wall and then we were finished. (Literally and figuratively). Our bodies were beat to crap. It is a wonder unfit for those out of shape. I don’t really know, and in any case, I wouldn’t be involved with that sort of pomposity.
We found great food in Beijing. Our favorite being a Uyghur restaurant called Crescent Moon. Nice lamb dishes with good bread and soothing tea. It’s the Chinese way. We also found strange food. The things you hear about China and food are true. Find the right places to eat and don’t be afraid to try new things – unless it’s dog or rat, please do not eat anything that can be named Toby – because there is plenty to make the taste buds happy. We were paying roughly $20/pp per meal. Which is a little steep when it comes to China. I blame my wife, she has expensive tastes. You can do with nice $3-10 meals (which include 2-5 multiple dishes). These are common “deals” so don’t think you have to look too far to get them.

I would never get used to a Chinese breakfast – sauteed veggies and noodles and bread – because it felt too much like eating dinner.  So I always went out of my way to find a more Western breakfast, if available. You have plenty of options available to you. I couldn’t compromise being American in regards to breakfast, but otherwise, we did very well sticking to Chinese traditional meals and relaxation techniques – tea and massage.

There was a heightened alert in Beijing for terrorist activity against foreigners (which terrorism is only in question in the north and northwest part of China, at the moment). If you are any kind of Caucasian be aware of these things. Me on the other hand would be perfectly fine and probably never be in danger, but then I remembered that I was traveling with my wife. The Chinese military is top notch when it comes to protecting foreigners, though. They will go out of their way to ensure your safety. (*Note: For foreign ladies that like to travel alone China may be a great place. Statistically there are very little incidents that involve mugging, rape, or violence against foreign women. By law the penalties for crimes against foreigners are harsh and more often than not involve the death penalty.)

Only being in Beijing for four days and it being our first city experience in China we really didn’t give ourselves enough time to explore. If going to Beijing a good 7 days would do some good. There is much to see around Beijing and it is a hub to other nature sights in the north of China. There are plenty of day trips to involve one’s self.

To be continued…

3-Feet: Masturbation and Pornography in the Library

Library Chronicles 001: 3-feet: Masturbation and Pornography in the Library

I catch LaMarcus Stevens watching porn at least 3 times a shift.  Always ‘Street Latinas’ or ‘Bubble Bottom Milfs.’  (I hate that I have those titles implanted in my memory, so you’re welcome!).

Today and as usual he awkwardly surveys the room, which I assume is an attempt at being discreet.  Nevertheless, an odd gesture considering the young woman sitting just two spots down from him twisting uncomfortably away from the offense.  LaMarcus can’t help himself.  He zeroes in.

God.  God!  Why must it be me?  Is this service?  It mustn’t be right for a man to stop another man from his joy of premature ejaculation or worse… oh no!….

“LaMarcus, please put that… thing away and shut down your computer,” I added in a sotto voce whisper a clear 3-feet away from his back.  Damn, he didn’t hear me.  “LaMarcus, put your dick away and turn that off,” I say more firmly, but too loudly and with too much emotion. But, I was a clear 3-feet away from his back when he heard me which is a good thing.  A man can take a little embarrassment when he has some space.  Not that LaMarcus deserves any space.  The entire room was staring at us now.

“In my office now, LaMarcus!”

I learned the 3-feet rule playing basketball as a kid.  A person out-of-bounds gets 3-feet of space from a defender for an attempt to get the ball in-court or in-play.  The worst a person out-of-bounds can do is make a big mistake and lose possession of the ball, or make a mistake that would keep them out-of-bounds.  It wouldn’t matter to the defender though, because it’s the offensive players fault if they can’t get the ball back in-bounds.  The idea being that all a person needs is a little space for the chance to succeed.  LaMarcus is very much out-of-bounds.

“What is the matter with you, LaMarcus?  I can turn a semi-blind eye to your peeping, but you are way out-of-bounds buddy and I’m trying to find the reason to give you another chance to get back in-bounds.”

“Look, I don’t know what is in or out-of-bounds, Mr. M., but, I was just watching the best video I have ever seen!  Oh man, the ass on that one was unforgivable.  I could’ve cried,”  he said so happily, as if he didn’t just get caught jerking it in a packed library.

Now his hand was somehow on my shoulder as he laughed off embarrassment.  “Get your hand off of me!  I know you’re a porn boffin, but you can get in serious trouble for masturbating like that in public.  I can’t condone that behavior and after countless times of me telling you not to watch porn in this library I would think that you would understand not to go Charles Manson on your nuts in the computer area!  This stops here, do you understand me?”

“Mr. M. what the fuck do you want me to do!  I don’t have Internet at my house.  I don’t have an office like you do…oh wait, I have an idea!…”

“Kill that idea and never think, again!”  The audacity of this guy is kind of admirable in a nasty, stupid, and immature kind of way.  I had to remove myself from the situation this is about him and not me.  “I’m not ushering in a call to have you removed for watching porn.  According to our library policy I can’t exactly report you for watching adult pornography.  I can, however, have you reported for an act of masturbation or indecent exposure.  There is little reason why I should not at this point.  So for you and for me, please keep your penis in your pants in public spaces within this library,” that actually felt really good to say.  I think he understands, so moving on….

I sit back down at my post.  I realize that I could’ve told him about our iPad loan program, but we just got those iPads and I don’t want them to get sticky in their first month after purchase.  He’ll find out eventually.

Everything is normal.  Mr. Smyrna is digging in his nose and placing his boogers under the computer desk.  Kate’s music is blaring out from her Beats.  LaMarcus is zeroed in.  Mrs. Ninette Olav is raising her hand, likely for technical help.  She probably can’t find the space bar on the keyboard or something.  And, Igrette just walked in.  Not Igrette!  Damn it all, I am going to lunch!

Lunch in my office is the ultimate escape.  I can close the door and not think about anything if I don’t want to, not home or work.  When the door is closed, I am not here.  Don’t knock.  I won’t answer.  I am likely looking up the net worth of celebrities, or reading comic books or listening to a good audiobook.   Then, the hour passes.  Then it is back to taking care of the kids.

LaMarcus is gone.  I feel some relief every time he leaves.  As much as I try to ignore characters like LaMarcus, to ignore takes a varied meaning when working at a reference desk.  The idea of ignoring something is to provide some space between yourself and an annoying person albeit not complete space.  Just 3-feet.  The problem is that no one ever gives a reference librarian space.  I guess then the job would be pointlessly described as sitting at a reference desk.  At least now I can fill my résumé and cover letter with ‘confronts masturbating patrons at academic library.’

The area is quiet and the space is clearing out.  At least mostly.  Igrette, oh Igrette!  I never want to make eye contact with Igrette, but it’s not something to be helped especially because she dubiously stares me down.  If an falcon eyes a fish hundreds of feet below his flight threshold the fish has no idea the falcon is coming for it.  I’m the fish in this situation with Igrette, except it sucks more for me because I know she is coming.  The 3-feet rule with Igrette is difficult to navigate.  I usually try to take more than 3-feet when she is around.  Damn, here she comes.

“Mr. M., I want you!  Uh huh, I need that!”  She’s a never ending harassment case, but I can handle her sly talk.  Whenever I encounter her I speak loudly so that someone else in the room can hear me and be a witness to what I am saying just in case Igrette decides to flip the script on me.

“How’s that paper coming along, Igrette?  Did the sources that we found come together like you wanted them to?”  I know she won’t bite at the small talk, but it’s worth a try to divert the conversation from the pointless.

“I was thinking that maybe we should go out for lunch or dinner and conversate about the nice things in life.”  She meant ‘converse.’  “Becuzzzz, I’ve been thinking about you and there are some things that I want to say and there are some things you may want to hear.”

“Igrette, it wouldn’t be proper for me to have lunch or dinner with you.”  That’s not a sufficient answer I should say something more.  “Furthermore, I don’t philander as I have a wife whom I love very dearly and I cannot see myself with another woman.”  Not enough.  “In addition, I like my job and I want to keep it.”  Come on, man!!!!  “No, no, won’t happen ever, okay?”  Well done.

“Well, at least I know that I… am …beautiful.  You didn’t say that I wasn’t your type, so that must mean that you want me, but you just can’t have me.  Thanks for the compliments!”  See, I never try to win with this girl, there is no point.  “Excuzzzz me, I have better things to do than to let you marvel at this thick piece,” she says as she recklessly walks back to her seat clumsily knocking over a garbage pale while attempting to keep eye-contact with me.  I put my head down in an attempt to ignore her departure from the reference desk.

Igrette loves big penises.  Sorry for the abrupt change of focus here.  How do I know this?  Igrette, similar to LaMarcus, is a serial “pornster.”  As I survey the room I catch her every once in a while looking at pornography.  The difference between the two of these perverts is that Igrette likes to let people know that she like big penises.  “Damn, girl!  Ooooweeee, I would love that,” she trumpets in the computer area.  But, I must give the girl some credit, she also enjoys studying and being an avid student learner.  But, sometimes she is simply more interested in viewing…whatever it is she is viewing.  I ignore her first couple of outbursts, but after that I must engage her.   This is how we first met….

I clear my throat in an obnoxious manner in hopes that this young lady will change her demeanor to fit the library environment, but it was no use.  She danced, putting her hands above her head in a twirling movement while singing, “I’ve got to have it!  Give it to me, baby!”  I had no idea what she was viewing until I saw it: ‘Long Johns XXX.’  I immediately turned away and started back to my post before realizing that I was letting her off the hook for being a woman.  I mean, I would never not let LaMarcus off the hook.  And seeing a woman that loves penises shouldn’t shock me.  It’s not like I don’t see a penis on a daily basis.  There should be no problem here.

I took a deep breath, and proceeded to close in at 3-feet from her back.  And, then it happened.  Something so serene and beautiful.  There was silence all around the library.  The other patrons had left the area.  And, so I left Igrette to enjoy herself.