So I've been battling internet connections and network administrators. It's becoming increasingly more tricky to "borrow" the wireless internet from who I once thought was an "unsuspecting" neighbor. Now they're on to me, and the connection I once had, is no more. Now I'm "borrowing" from a different source, a VERY NICE PERSON (if you're reading this) but I'm lucky to get a wavering signal, between 1 bar and NO bars of coverage. That's not great. I went to the library at one point because I was tired of waiting on the temperamental connection. The network administrator who stopped lending me internet must be a Democrat. I do read lots of Conservative-leaning websites. He/she must be a racist too. I AM A MINORITY (in case the new network administrator is still reading this), and I hate being discriminated against. That always blows.
The library was very enlightening though...
First, it was like I had reverted 10 years into my past and was back in that place where I liked to learn new things. Ok maybe 15 or more years ago. Nonetheless, it was very fun. I was about to pick up an encyclopedia about Russian Forefathers or something when they called my name to get on the computer. It was really neat though.
Second, people are ferocious. Strip people down to their nature, their cravings, and woah, you better step back. Or "best step back!" depending on which library. People hate to wait. HATE it. Not too surprising really. What with all our commercials and Easy Mac. But this isn't the Grocery Line Impatience, it's a "Where's My Morphine?! Get Out of My Way Lest I Eat You" Impatience. Not my favorite brand, I must say. People came in on lunch breaks trying to sneak on computers, trying to cut in line for computers, even re-entering lines to ensure they can get BACK on the computers. It was threatening and intriguing all in the same moment. Like staring at the charging bear. You're enamored, yet paralyzed with fear. One man was on the computer next to mine when I sat down. His time expired, and he proceeded to take 5 more minutes to sign off of things. I started to get nervous for his safety; the hovering BBW's glare did not convey amusement. He then walked right over to the counter and re-enlisted for another hour. He's a very sick man.
People would walk in expecting a computer. Frustrated at a 10 minute wait, people started becoming instinctive. Some looked lost, like their puppy ran away. But most, and by most I mean the 10 or 15 people who came in during my 50 minute session, would pace. Hover. Fidget. Prowl. They'd huddle at the table closest the computers and within eyeshot and earshot of the "Media Assistant" calling out names like the numbers in a bakery line. They'd make contrived, manipulative, small talk about their "lunch break" being almost over, or about "how long" people had been on the computers. Like a lion hunting a gazelle, they appeared fully capable and equally eager to make their move.
My question is who is so important, or so addicted, that they can't wait to check their email or myspace until AFTER work? The library closes at 9PM! Oh, the MADHOUSE it must be during rush hour. I bet they'll put in a new streetlight with a turn arrow just for the hyenas. And how many are repeat visitors? Twice-a-days. On lunch break, AND after work. Some of the people were known by name. As in they come so much the "Media Assistant" knows who they are. That's not great. They need help. Or rehab. Myspace Rehab. 120 million clients; it would be a lucrative business, except that no one thinks they have a problem. Guys, the first step to fixing the problem, is admitting there is one.
It's interesting science really. Allow me to be serious for one paragraph. In alcoholism, there is the alcohol and the addictive conditioned behavior associated with it. And there is often an enabler, a person who never leaves. Like the woman who is beaten but won't leave her husband. It's interesting. The internet is fast becoming the object, the surfing and checking and rechecking of emails and myspace accounts is the addictive behavior commonly associated with the internet, and the enabler is a cyber-social, pseudo-reality. People far away, distant and impersonal. And they won't leave. They're always there. Enabling. It's textbook. And for another day, it's not surprising so many are addicted. It's easily accessible, aside from authoritarian network administrators, and who wouldn't want friends who won't "cut them out?"
Anyway, Pavlov's Drooling Dogs rendered my first trip to a library in 3 or 4 years as surprising, to say the least. And my library innocence was taken from me rather abruptly. But like Rosa Parks, I stuck to my guns and didn't give up my seat. I finished my business amidst the howls and pants of the onlookers.
You know, I wouldn't be surprised if "Security Officer, Merritt Island Library," is listed on Careerbuilder.com in the near future. Hey, I could come out of retirement for it. No, I wouldn't (or maybe would) be caught dead trying to herd those sick beasts.