I work at a library. Old guys tell me stories here all the time. I write a blog, one essay every single day. So one would think it would be fantastic for me to be told stories by these old guys. I could then just turn around and tell you! It would be like a free day. And I suppose it would be fantastic to hear these stories, but only if these stories had beginnings, middles or ends. It would be fantastic only if there seemed to be any point to these stories. It would be fantastic if I had any idea what the story was about that they just told me.
But I don't. So it's not fantastic, it's just mildly interesting and not very useful.
Today I was shelving in non fiction. I was all alone in my aisle when, with an alarming closeness, my name was whispered. There was a smaller gentleman of my acquaintance in the next aisle over, calling my name through the gap in the books.
He talks very fast, in an agitated manner. He gets sort of excited and then kind of stutters a lot. He's also has an apologetic manner combined with a curious persistence. Whispering at me through the stacks I was immediately put in the mind of Peter Lorre; sinister, strangely appealing, and dismissable all at once.
Then, as the story was sort of dimming into confusion, whether mine, his, or, I suspect, both of ours, he said he had met Jane Goodall at that bar. This was about 20 years ago. She was older than him and they just happened to be sitting next to each other. He asked her to dance. He didn't know she was Jane Goodall. She said no, but nicely. When she said who she was he thought maybe she was messing with him. He said they later went across the street and had pie. Some time after that he went to The Primate Institute, which I researched and actually was at the University of Minnesota at that time. He saw her there. She said "What are you doing here?"
I never did quite get what he answered.