Warts and All

Well, we heard last Wednesday that one of our regulars, let’s call him Larry, is “boycotting” the branch because he was asked to bring down his voice… again.

We are all trying to be sad about this boycott, but honestly, Larry brings a tumble of problems with him each day.

On some days, three or four fellas come with Larry and and sit with him to play video games on the computers all day. They call out and guffaw and move from screen to screen. If they were only in 5th grade, it would be more understandable (but they are all between eighteen and twenty). When they get bumped off the computers (as students start arriving in the afternoon), they play role playing card games. They are all personal hygiene challenged.

One day, Larry’s girlfriend passed out in front of the building and we called an ambulance. He continued playing video games.

Another day, Larry arrived at the branch four hours before opening and slept by the front door until we asked him to move.

Once, Larry was caught burning CD’s with pirated music and selling them outside the branch to school kids.

These are the kinds of things that larger city libraries encounter every day. But somehow, it feels more personal in a small branch. In the years that Larry has been coming here, people have reached out to him. He was given jobs, food, clothing, and even money. But he continues to make other choices. He’s our little lost sheep, I guess.

Oh, look, he’s back today. He just couldn’t stay away. Like I said… we’re family, warts and all.

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