My sisters, I’ve resolved this year to treat my personal academic work more like the job it is/should be, and so I’ve been leaving the comfort-trap that is my apartment for a table at the public library, where there are no cats to distract me with their adorableness, or kitchens to tempt me with “just a few more” leftover Xmas treats. I arrive early, claim an outlet, and dig in.
The room is empty for an hour or so, then more and more people arrive, and my solitude is increasingly interrupted. By dudes.
In the mere 15 mintues I’ve been typing this, I’ve heard teeth-sucking, groaning yawns, weird grunts, coffee-slurping and cup-nibbling, and incessant sniffing (just fucking blow your nose already), from the two guys at my table. Other noises are emanating from other places, but these guys are shaking the table with their freakishly violent typing and relentless foot-jiggling. I expect the occasional paper rustle or cleared throat, but book-slamming? Audible chewing and swallowing? Ear mining?
Were libraries always like this? I know they weren’t. Looking around this area, men make up a clear majority of library patrons, and they’re also making a disproportionate amount of (rude, grotesque) noise. I know from using public transportation than men have no monopoly on irritating personal behaviors, but I’m curious what others think: Are these guys freaks, or are they just being “normal” men, who feel no compunction to police their bodies or behavior in a civic space? Am I being a fussy flower? And at what point can I deploy the Glare of Doom and/or a chainsaw?