I am a loyal patron of our local library. I love it there. Many of the librarians know me by my name. I like that. I usually go the library a couple of times a week. I read a lot - read to myself kind of reading. Plus, I read a lot to the kids - we have about a 10-20 book a week habit (as I like to call it). When I stayed at home with the kids, we attended story time. It was there that I learned the words and dance to Tooty Ta. I borrow books, CD's, movies....... I am a library addict. I am sure you get the point.
Because I am at the library so often I frequently run into people who I know at the library. In fact, I can't remember the last time I went there without seeing someone I knew. I like that, too. Last week I posted on Facebook about how I saw an old friend there but I didn't talk to her. I hid from her. Behind a stack of CD's. And then behind a computer monitor. I know - there must be something wrong with me.
Tonight I had to go to the grocery store, so I decided I should return my current batch of stuff to the library. When I got there I remembered I had made a "reading list" of kids books I wanted to check out for the kids. Again, I do realize this isn't normal but I've never claimed to be "normal". I forgot my list but remembered there was a list of the librarians favorite children's books on the library web site. So.....I went to the computer to search for the list. (I know this is long and detailed but I am getting to a point - so stay with me). As I am standing at my computer waiting for my info I saw this guy - well, young man (he looked around 18) walking to the computer across from me. He had a few piercings, skinny jeans and converse type shoes. He walked like it was taking every ounce of energy he could muster to just walk. He sat down. I couldn't help but look at him. He looked so distraught. I could feel his burden - if that even makes sense. After a minute I saw this woman walking straight for him. She may have been his mother. Or maybe the mother to one of his friends. She said something to him - maybe his name. He turned and he hugged her. Now this is where we are going to pause. If you don't know this about me - I am not a hugger. I've always thought it was because I just don't like being that physically close to other people. I don't want my boobs squishing up against other people and I just really don't like hugging. I get teased about it. But here is the thing. I think most hugging is just unnecessary. It is fake....."oh let me give you a hug". I mean really does a quick squish and back pat really mean anything? It is kinda like when you ask someone how they are and then you don't listen to the answer. The truth is I don't mind hugging when it is needed - when a friend is hurt or crying or even when a client is very upset. From now on I want everyone to take note - I don't hate hugging - just foo-foo hugging. So, I watched this odd pair embrace (yes, we are back in the library). It was not a superficial hug. He grabbed on to her like he needed someone - anyone even - the give him that physical embrace. I watched. I couldn't stop. He was gripping at her coat. It was so intense that I felt tears welling up in my eyes. I heard her say she tried to call him and that was it. I forced myself to walk away. I did see him when I was leaving the library. They were ahead of me in line. I was waiting as the woman disputed some late fee. He looked stressed. I wanted to hug him. Or cry for him. I asked him is she needed money for the fine. He said no. Okay. He probably thought I was some crazy lady - talking to him. I saw him smoking in the parking lot as I pulled away. I just wonder what he is going through. I wonder if he is okay. It is just strange how you can witness something and just know. Sometimes I wish we could know what is going on in other peoples lives - so we could help each other. Other times I think it is best we don't. I probably wouldn't sleep much at night.
And that was my trip to the library today.