Monday, July 20, 2009

secret 20 - why i stopped going to the library

warning: disturbing, not necessarily for children content ahead.....

it's ok to turn back now.


although it takes place in a library, this gets a bit ugly.


you have been warned.


continue at your own risk...

when i was at university, i spent lots of time in the big main library. lots of time. i had a favorite spot on the 3rd floor, near the PG stacks. i was there late one afternoon, sitting at my usual table, head bent over the books. i glanced up and saw an overweight, sweaty, rather greasy guy in a sweatsuit, peeking around the corner. this wasn't really that unusual, it being a big ten university in the upper midwest, so i didn't think that much of it.

i got up to go get some book or other and went down the aisle just adjacent to the one he was lurking towards he end of. i was reaching for some book or other and caught sight of him again, peeking around the corner. and now it seemed he was behaving rather suspiciously, because he seemed to be actually watching me.

again, i just thought, "loser, get a life," and went on looking for references to bakhtin and menippean satire. a search which took me to the other end of the aisle he was in and so i went around the corner and glanced up and realized that he was indeed watching me and that he had his sweatpants pulled down and was...you guessed it...having a lovely time with himself (note: not using the correct technical term to avoid coming up in creepy searches and getting a whole bunch of new followers that i wouldn't be that keen on having). right there. in the library.

i must admit that i totally freaked. so freaked that i didn't even shout at him or scream or anything or make fun of him for being small and pathetic (i only thought of that afterwards). i actually ran back to my table, grabbed my things and fled the library. i went directly over to the campus police station, which was nearby and reported him.

i went back to the library together with a police officer and the guy was, of course, long gone, tho' the evidence was right there, clear as day on the floor. ew!! yuck!!!

it turned out i wasn't the first to report such activity by a person fitting his description. i never did find out whether they caught him. luckily, it was almost the end of the semester, so i didn't really have to spend much time there again for several months. because i can tell you it definitely put me off the library.

i never did feel the same studying on that floor again. i'd go get the books i needed and study in a totally different spot. you just never knew after that...

p.s. i didn't really think a picture of this one was appropriate...i hope you agree.

17 comments:

Cyndy said...

I am the first to respond? Not sure how I feel about that with this story.

I was just going to say that I stopped going to the library because I am so bad about getting the books back on time. See the life I lead?

wv: searm. So many things come to mind with this story lurking in my mind, but I am going to pass...

Red Shoes said...

I think your library friend moved down to New Orleans some years later. We had someone indulging in the same activity in the library at my uni for several years. Though our police were pretty good, they never managed to get him.

Weird.

kristine said...

oh my god exactly the same thing happened to me. In Borders (what is it with and these creeps and books?). The guy didnt actually remove any clothing but he was wearing (wait for it) .....white tights. Not tight white trousers - tights.

Yrditz Gumash said...

wow. that's creepy on a whole 'nother level...so sorry that happened to you! i seriously hope they caught that guy.

naqiubex said...

What de fish?
That is so dangerous.. We never know what he might do if he caught you..

Just Jules said...

imagine if you could have pulled it together enough to tell him how inadequate his tool was for even a bookmark.

Maybe you would have been his last "check out"

Cyndy said...

Just Jues: I just got your comment (through the comment thread) and busted out laughing. With my family in the room. And really can't explain my behavior. Now I know they think I'm nuts. But that bookmark comment was truly hilarious! And much needed. Thanks!

Cyndy said...

I meant "Just Jules". See I can't even type I am laughing so hard..

Char said...

ew creepy!

spudballoo said...

ewwwwwwww, nasty....although Kritine's 'white tight' man is equally stomach churning.

Whereas I've only recently got back in to going to the library, for the children. But it's teeeeeeny tiny, surely no perves could be lurking? Wibble.

Polly said...

owww! thanks for not posting a picture! very disturbing, it would put me off libraries for ever too, thank God I didn't meet one in my library, I like it too much... but I won't enjoy its quiet corners so much now, I have to get over this story :-)

julochka said...

i can't decide it if freaks me out all over again or makes me feel better that others have experienced this. what's up with that? i know books are great, but are they sexy? hmm...

kristina said...

blääääää (that would be swedish for "ewwwww")!!! I'm sorry you had to experience that! what a creep.

Sammi said...

Bleeeeuuurrggghhhh

Fidgeting Gidget said...

Ewww, sick. I would have been totally creeped out, and as much as I love libraries, that would be enough to make me think twice about going into one. Although, as a Big Ten alum, I'm not surprised it happened at a Big Ten university. I mean, I love the Big Ten, but we've got some creepers.

Esmerelda said...

This frightens me....because it happened to me too. I swear. And my reaction was to gasp, turn and run - full speed - out of the library.

Our University guy was never caught though and did not leave his ... evidence ... out in the open.

Oh, and I didn't report it. I didn't know it was a crime until I saw it reported the following week in the police blotter. By that point, he had taken to using women's shoes to store the ... evidence..., which is why I still go to libraries but never remove my shoes.

Molly said...

My comment flew out my head as soon as I saw my VW - check balderdash. It's hilariously apt.