As a person who has experimented widely with recreational drugs (actually, they weren't really experiments) I would think I would be pretty good at spotting what people are under the influence of at the Library. I'm not. On rare occasions I'll smell something on a patron's breath, or have a sudden frisson of awareness, and think "Oh my god, this person is drunk!" or "This person is stoned!" as if this event is a shocking or amazing rarity, and not something that is frequently true but that manages to constantly evade my notice. My theory is that I am not good at spotting all this drug influence out in the public because the effects of these drugs are so readily and relentlessly mimicked by a public under the influence of nothing more powerful than lunch.
For instance, I find people who are stoned to be a bit slow and dreamy, not focused on the task at hand and then over focused on a small detail of the task at hand. They become mellow and spacey. They can be charming and calming, but they do tend to really slow down one's line. If I were to assume every person evidencing these traits to be stoned I would be spending my whole day exclaiming "Oh my god, this person is stoned!" Being shocked about the same thing 40 times a day is probably a feat beyond me.
And what about drunk people. The sloshed. Every day I see loads of people with impaired fine muscle coordination, increased sociability, impaired judgement, and balance difficulty. They're called children. They hit the Library in droves, like we're giving out free drinks! Are they drunk? I get the impression that's just how they are. But it doesn't stop with the younger set. We get people with various disabilities, strange old guys, daffy ladies, freewheeling over confident bruisers, all evincing a good description of some style of drunkenness. Some of them probably are actually drunk, most of them probably aren't.
And what about that voluble chatterbox there, doing three things at once and talking rapidly to his co-worker like he doesn't even need to take a breath. He is revving pretty high. Is he naturally like that? I just happen to know he isn't. I know he's usually a good bit more sedate than all that. And I know for a fact he's had three cappuccinos today. How do I know this? I drank them myself.