Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

ShamrockA year ago today, around 11AM, a guy fixed in the bathroom and OD’d in the Library. Actually, he got as far as the central staircase when he passed out tumbling down the steps. So there he was, in a heap, unconscious at the bottom of the stairwell bleeding from is head, and laying in a pool of his own urine. A sad-sorry-sight to behold. We called 911, and the paramedics and police arrived a short time later. While going through his pockets they discovered a, “white powdery substance” in his possession…

While all of this was happening, many people watched the spectacle unfold. The spectators including a group of five or six “special needs” individuals from a local group home. Their counselor became so engaged in the drama below that he lost track of his charges, and one of them began wandering around. Shortly thereafter, this particular individual began following a staff member through the building, at times walking behind her by no more than a few feet as if in formation. The staff member eventually led her past me and said, “Woeful, get her off me!”

I followed them into the staff office behind the circulation desk where a few people were casually talking. Needless to say, this encroachment stopped their conversation mid-sentence. They looked at me, I at they, they gazed back… I shrugged. All the while this individual simply stood there silently, just looking around as if this was all perfectly normal. Someone then asked if she needed help. At this point, she reached down and picked up a few cookies from the secretaries desk and began eating. Finally, I had the opportunity to make solid eye contact with this person. I pointed at her with my index finger and said, “YOU, follow me!” accenting the, “Me” by gesturing towards myself with my thumb. I immediately led her back out to the Library floor like the Pied Piper, back to her keeper.

The paramedics stabilized the guy in the stairwell, and they carried his sorry-soiled-unconscious ass away…

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~ by Woeful on March 16, 2007.

6 Responses to “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!”

  1. Nothin’ like a nice, heartwarming story about someone who overdosed to get your St. Patty’s spirit goin’! Thanks for the love.

  2. Top o’ the morning to you!

  3. When I go to the li-berry, do you know what I like to OD on? That’s right–learning.

  4. I appreciate that Sketchbook, as do all other librarians! I am glad to write that we have our fair share of decent folk, and serious researchers who stop by the Library as well. Sadly, we also have some real winners; addicts, vagrants, perverts, ex-cons, schizophrenics, etc… Librarianship is a challenge for many reasons, but a rewarding career overall.

  5. ahh sweet woeful…. thankfully, not nearly as tragic as “soiled on the stairs” (yikes), i have had my own @ the library experience. i spent the better part of saturday at the new haven free public library as i am no longer able to concentrate at home….. nothing and no one in particular…but that is another blog.
    anyway, i thought that on the main floor i would be “safe” from the truly “walking wounded”…..not so much. i had the great fortune of sitting in very close proximity to “speed reader guy”. this man would go into the stacks, pick out 8 or 10 novels, bring them back to his table and thumb through them page by page and one by one at lightning speed. head and eyes darting across the pages and lips moving as if he were actually reading. he must have “read” 30 novels in the time that i was there.ending each one with a slam and a sigh. curiously, he did take his time picking out the novels. hmmm.

  6. Thanks for sharing the love, Private Poet!

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