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My Trip to the L.A. Public Library: Or, "Do you want the book, or not!"


Dear Readers, here’s a challenge: Indentify the woman who works at the Frances Goldwyn Library on at Ivar and Vine who had extensive plastic surgery to freeze her face into a permanent sneer. The minute I pushed the door open to that joint and we made eye contact, a chill went through my veins. She’s got that look that says, “Yeah, I’m crazy. And I’m not just crazy. I’m mean!”

When I asked her about the sign on the restroom door that reads, “EMERGENCY SHUTOFF,” her face began to twitch, her arms to flail, and she shouted, “Just push it open! Just push it open!”

After that brief interlude, I beat a hasty retreat for the stacks. There the reference librarian helped me with a very difficult catalog search. She seemed like a very nice woman- quiet, refined, with delicate hands that she folded together while waiting for the results of a query. You should have seen her gracious manner when I thanked her for her assistance.

After the reference desk, I pulled a book from the shelf, and went back downstairs to check it out. There I met my nemesis (or would it be nemesa?) a second time. When she punched my patron record numbers into the computer (and I mean punched) she said, “You’ve got a book on hold.”

“Oh, great!” I said. “Can I see it?” I asked. “Because if it’s heavy, I may want to wait before I take it home.”

Her face clouded over. What was once just a snear became a scowl. “Do you want the book or not!” She said, her voice trembling with barely restrained rage.

“Yes,” I said. “Of course I want the book.”

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About Russell Smith

I was born at the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. I find inspiration in the lives of so many people from Joan of Arc to Oscar Wilde. While my primary avocation is photography, I also enjoy philosophy, theology and most of all, history. My beloved wife, Robin Anne Smith, who passed away in 2013 is also an inspiration to me. My beloved partner, Dana is also a great support and inspiration to me. I'd be remiss if I did not mention my cats: Natasha, Maxwell, Tigger and Nigel.

4 responses »

  1. I have seen these people before. They have decided that the best look for them is to botox their face into a permanent frown. I believe this is done because, much like a poison dart frog, they want you to stay away and that is their warning.

    Reply
  2. Where do they find these trolls that deal with the public with such disdain?

    Reply
  3. Thanks, Amberswan! You just made my day!

    Reply
  4. I am terrified, yet intrigued. I want to keep a book late, just to see of what she’s capable. My boyfriend and I just met you on Whitley (across the street from the building of debatable decade) and we are both glad to hear of your blog. Please, keep it up!

    Reply

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