I just have to tell this story, although I’d rather not release any more negative energy into the world. It’s weighing on me, though, and it seems I have to share the burden. Please forgive the language.

Last Night:

After two blissful hours wandering amongst the stacks at the public library, I was checking out an armload of books and feeling happy and self-satisfied, having had an unusually productive and enjoyable day.

A cute little pig-tailed girl, maybe five or six years old, hopped up and down while her mother checked out books. Earlier, I had heard the woman spit-whisper at the child, something like, “Shut up and get your ass over here! You are annoying the hell out of me,” and I pondered the fact that probably not everyone should take on parenthood.

Then this, at full volume: “It looks like it’s going to be one of the nights when I whip the shit out of you when we get home.”

I gasped, I think.

The woman looked at me and I looked at her. “Yeah, I said that,” she challenged.

I went back to checking out my books and didn’t speak. There were no words. She moved closer to me and said louder, “Yeah, I said that.”

“I heard you,” I said quietly, and looked her full in the face.

She grabbed the girl’s wrist and headed for the door, throwing over her shoulder, “There are some weird-ass people in this town.”

Of course, I’ve spent the day second-guessing what I should have said or done. Sometimes I feel as if I’m just not meant to live in this world. Even a trip to the library can be gut-kicking painful.

How would you react?

Children are a gift from God

Children are a gift from God

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