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.