I spent over ten minutes asking this library attendant to get me a book behind him. Over ten minutes. I was patient. I was being a Christian. I asked politely, simply. He ignored me blatantly yet slyly. He collected money from people who came to renew their library cards and gave them change and checked the list to be sure they had paid, he answered them just as they came up after me.
I felt weird. I felt abused. I was very patient, my voice loud yet small as something inside of me felt more inadequate the longer I waited. There was a guy beside me, who came after me, he asked for a textbook. Library attendant whom I’ve always greeted politely, stood up from his chair, got the book for him, sat back. The same guy asked for another book, the man stood again, got it for him. Before he sat, I asked him to get mine. A girl can never fully know if it’s her gender thats causing the bias. He ignored me, looking at others who came for library card renewal. You get that kind of pretence stance.
Something in the back of my throat knotted. I walked inside the library without the book. Tears were close. For what reason? Thoughts came, because I didn’t use makeup? Because I was polite? What was my offence? Why wasn’t I firmer in demanding when he delayed? Why did I want to cry? Why did I want to cry? Should I have been rude? Why? Why?
I’ll go back. I’ll tell him I demand a textbook. Another of my choice now, I’ve had time to rethink what I want to read. I’ll embrace the knot that formed at the back of my throat. It will speak better things for me in the years to come. I’ve lost a coat. I’m going outside now to offer another.
It’s surprising to me too, but this happened to me.
So what’s your view people?
-on the religious aspect
-On the tears
-and other themes
Fight or flight for you?