Friday, April 27, 2018

Peer pressure

Rarely does a day go by here at the library wherein one of my co-workers doesn't come up to me and say "Hey, want to go out to the parking lot and do some meth?"

I have heard meth can be unhealthy for you, so, though I'm glad they asked, I am compelled to say "No, thank you."

If only they would leave it at that. But there's always the "Oh, come on, it's fun and it makes you work faster."

So then I mumble "Sorry, but my body is a temple." Which I immediately regret as i watch them roll their eyes at me and walk away.

I was reading a bit of a nice book of poems here by Baudelaire when a co-worker came up behind me. "Oh, hey." They said. "I love that poem!"

"Me too!" I said, delighted one of my co-workers was also a Baudelaire fan.

"Can I have it?" Asked the co-worker.

"You want the book?"

"No, can I just have that poem?"

So I shrugged and started copying out the poem for this person.

"No, just tear out the page." My co-worker said impatiently.

"Oh." I responded. "I can't. It's a library book."

"Pff." The person said. "Like anyone will notice."

"Sorry, I can't." I mumbled. And my co-worker walked away disgusted with me. Later I saw them whispering with someone and pointing at me.

It's hard to find a friend around here.

Maybe I should have torn the page out. It just didn't seem right somehow.

Later that same day a group of us were at the front desk and one of my managers said in a grand invitiation "Who wants a coffee?"

"Me!" I cried out excitedly.

A couple of other people more reservedly expressed interest, and my boss opened up the cash register and took out a couple of twenties.

"Ka-ching." My boss said.

"Can you just take money from the library like that for coffee?" I asked.

"Oh, c'mon, who's gonna care?"

"No thanks." I mumbled embarassedly. "Don't get me one."

The manager shrugged and said "More for us." But I'm pretty sure one of my other co-workers muttered "killjoy" at me under their breath.

Then I had to jealously watch everyone drinking their super fancy coffee drinks while no one talked to me for the rest of the day.

Finally, at the end of the day, when a big group of us were leaving, someone loudly said "Who wants to go downtown, get drunk, and make fun of immigrants?"

Everyone cheered, but I said "Sorry, I can't." in a low voice. 

And someone said "Like we were even asking you." Then they all left together. 

I got in my car and listened to Keith Jarrett on my stereo and maybe cried a little.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying I'm better, or more moral than anyone. I'm not saying I'm right and they're wrong.

I'm just different.

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