I fought the urge to close my eyes, reminding myself that I was in a public library! Most people were here to work or study (heck, so was I). Sleeping even for a few minutes, as my brain warned my body, would be disrespectful. Also, it’s against the rule, right?
I lifted my head to scan the giant aquarium, trying to find the sign “sleeping not allowed”. There was none, not even between the rows as far as I could see. Instead, I was met by the gaze of the all-black-wearing girl who was sitting right in front of me.
It looked like goth-girl (presumption from my side) was taking a break, from whatever it’s she had been fixated in the past hour. I contemplated smiling, but what if she looked because she saw me falling asleep a few minutes ago? I decided to ignore the non-verbal communication. After all, people were not here to make friends.
Funny though, how this would be one of the very few places in public where the two of seemingly polar opposite people like us (I was wearing a red top and purple pants) would be in each other personal space, our laptops were separated by only inches, without feeling invaded.
I turned my head to the park outside. There was only one lady there, sitting on the bench, feeding (and what looked like talking to) the pigeons. Every now and then I saw kids in their swimwear, walking past the park to the swimming pool nearby. It must have been a hot day; Something, I could never predict just by looking at the sun and sky from indoor.
The yelling of a toddler yanked me back inside the library, to what was in front of me. A blank page. Oh God, the girl had started crying now. Surely, if sleeping is not allowed, so is crying. I waited for a responsible adult to fix her problem. After a few minutes too long the crying stopped — replaced by the white noise of keyboards clicking and inner-voice-using conversations.
I took a deep breath and checked the time. It’s a quarter to something. I decided to stretch my legs first before I started working. I glanced at the goth-girl, sending her a message to look after my things while I browsed around.
Young adults, True Crime, Asian Culture each section invited me to step in and explore the world. And I did. I tilted my head, touched the plastic protected covers, run my fingers through the intriguing titles. Lost in each of their worlds before I made a turn into the next section: Writing Reference. I needed to finish, well start and finish, my writing assignment.
Alright, time to do some work I told myself. I cracked my knuckles and re-read the homework: write about your happy place. That was when the librarian came to inform me and the goth-girl that it was closing time.
Did I just waste the whole afternoon doing nothing? A quote came to mind as I packed my things in the backpack: “time you enjoy wasting was not wasted” Maybe this library, a small square aquarium-like box which only opens certain hours a day, where I enjoy wasting time exploring different worlds, is my happy place. Either that or I have to come back tomorrow to write about a more sentimental happy place where strangers don’t collectively sit and ignore each other for hours every day.