Monday, September 3, 2018


We totally have celebrities at my library. You know, famous people. Not famous people so as you would know them if you aren't part of our library world, but this is a big library with plenty of staff and thousands of patrons, so it's still something to be widely known within that. After all it takes some doing to be famous here, and we're talking about so famous that I can just mention a few code words and pretty much any of my co-workers, and not a few patrons, will know exactly who I'm talking about.

But people come and go. And he or she who was famous last season may not be so famous anymore. Three of our most famous patrons from over the past several years have not been in for a few months. It's amazing how someone everyone is aware of, someone who comes everyday, suddenly stops coming and no one notices until they're back.

"Oh yeah!" One says. "Where has he been? I thought maybe he was dead."

I was out at the desk earlier this week. I looked up and suddenly there were the missing three! Three famous patrons. All at once, after various inscrutable hiatuses. No, they weren't together. It was mere chance that brought them all there at that singular moment.

There was bag man. The wiry, loud chewing man who used to spend all our available open library hours camped out upstairs with his 6-12 junk-filled Target bags.

There was the Nazi. I'm not sure he is a Nazi anymore, having mellowed either from all the nice help he gets on the copiers and printers from our Jewish, Asian, and African American staff, or from the bouts of Institutionalizations that account for most of his absences.

And finally there was old man bleeding. He is in his nineties and tends to fall a lot in our library and bleed everywhere. He is very frail and really seemed to defy the odds by making it back to our world.

To tell you the truth I was kind of delighted to see them all. A celebrity is a celebrity. In fact I think I smiled so much at each of them it made them nervous. Alas they are not the kind of people to whom it would occur to them to smile back. More's the pity.

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