Retrograde

5 May

Today I went to the grocery store, and as I was packing my groceries on my bicycle, a man came up and accosted me, started asking me if I’d been at the library and something. He was talking very fast and I got the impression he thought I’d been there and left something.

I said no, I hadn’t been at the library in a long time (seven and a half years, to be exact). He kept bothering me about it and it emerged that he was accusing me of being a woman on a bicycle who purportedly stole some CD’s from the library recently.

At first I was just kind of laughing it off, but he kept pushing it, that this person looked just like me, he was sure it was me.

I got irritated and told him well, it wasn’t me, and that I was feeling harassed and asked him to leave me alone.

He walked off backwards pointing at me, informing me with great pride that he was going to report me to the police. “Good, you do that,” I said.

We will note that there are few bicyclists here, almost all are men, that I haven’t even been on the library grounds any time recently – I think the last time was when the arts park opened a few years back. Also my bike is highly distinctive as to its various features.  So the odds of me and my bike both having doppelgängers are vanishingly rare.

I emailed the library assistant director, with whom I am well acquainted,  and explained this to her and suggested that maybe they could address this if they knew who this guy was, as I really don’t like being menaced by strange men in parking lots. Presumably if I was a suspect I would have heard from them by now, as they know where I live, right?

What fresh hell, really? I live this tiny little life here, invisible as I can be, don’t bother anybody, and I gotta deal with crazy men in grocery store parking lots accusing me of stealing things from libraries that I never go to.

Also he said this woman was wearing a red hat, why was he telling me these things? “I never wear a red hat” I said. I wear a white hat.

I hope he gets hit by a book. Asshole.

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6 Responses to “Retrograde”

  1. donesoverydone 2016/05/05 at 11:04 pm #

    Your nut magnet must be turned up on high, dial it down. Dang, that’s awful sorry that happened to you. I hate being accused of things I didn’t do. It’s so confusing and then so aggravating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miep 2016/05/05 at 11:07 pm #

      I know. You want there to be a simple explanation, and then the more you think about it and discard any such possibilities, the more you are left with crazy. And then it’s “oh shit, not again.”

      Thanks.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. purplesagefem 2016/05/06 at 4:59 am #

    You haven’t been to the library in years? I would suffer withdrawal!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lovetruthcourage 2016/05/06 at 1:05 pm #

    Unrelated, but there are lots of perverts frequenting libraries. I put myself through college by working at an academic library. I just saw one of our old perverts (Omar Carlton) in the news again. He is a foot fetish guy with a long resume (at least 8 arrests in libraries, most in IL.) Wonder how many times he has perved on women total? This guy is weird, but we also had some extremely dangerous ones, many cross-dressers and / or trannies in the toilets, including convicted rapists and murderers. And they say this NEVER happens. Have personally seen it multiple times and no, it wasn’t all over the papers. Most colleges remove these types quietly and without media fanfare, wouldn’t want to affect enrollment.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Miep 2016/05/06 at 1:30 pm #

      That’s true here too, I can think of a few of them, two of whom I and several other women I know have been stalked by. Anywhere there’s a captive audience.

      This is a small-town non-university library with limited resources (this is not a town of readers) and I read a wide variety of fiction, so actually it’s easier to just keep lists and shop places like Better World in volume to get the shipping discount. I can get them down to $2.50 apiece that way and I don’t wind up settling for trash fiction because I can’t find anything else.

      We don’t have a decent used book store either, again, because nobody reads. I helped run the last one, we closed in 2001. We were running at a sales level that maxed out where most retailers would just start considering it worth the trouble.

      I understand the value of libraries for people who simply can’t budget in used books, and a good research library is a gem, but this one really doesn’t have what I need. Also I am messy and do not always keep books perfectly clean.

      Anyway the library assistant director got back to me and said not to worry and that she’d talk to the guy. This is also a mining town and the bar for behavior is kind of low. Mining companies go so far as to actively solicit felons in their hiring ads. So we have more than our share of weirdos. If there wasn’t so much money and work around it would likely be quite dangerous.

      Liked by 1 person

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