So I'm drunk.
Scratch that. I'm completely shitfaced. I had three different people buy me shots tonight. I had two rather attractive bartenders feeding me drinks all night, too.
It's been a while since my hands twitched. Twitching like they're twitching now.
I probably shouldn't be blogging, because, well, its dangerous for someone with my background to be blogging while intoxicated. I'm actually breaking one of my cardinal rules by posting anything, really...
* * * *
So I got into an altercation with someone much younger than myself, someone without the experience to discern who, exactly, one can pick a fight with and actually win.
There are very few such altercations I've lost; if you've read this blog long enough, you should know that I'm not the kind of guy who backs away from bullshit pissing contests or vulgar displays of power.
I'm not the kind of librarian who will sit idly by while my clients are in states of duress; I'm not some Marion the Librarian tea-totaler who would rather write some batshit article for the professional literature than actually take a stand for their users.
If, say, a would-be suitor of a young woman that I've been tutoring suddenly decides to go Ike Turner on one of MY clients, leaving one of MY students, someone who I've been tutoring to learn that, no, being born poor is not a crime, a victim of domestic violence...
Trust me, I'm not going to simply pull you aside and have a friendly conversation about overdue books or fines. I'm not going to beat my chest like some animalistic primate, either.
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Before I was a librarian, before I was a journalist, I was a Grade-A hoodlum. And not just any hoodlum - I was THE bad motherfucker who had no problem whatsoever dropping a guy for doing something stupid. I was good at it. Long before I was an information professional, I was a professional weapon of mass destruction.
As a teenager, I was once voted most likely to be dead by 21 by classmates; if it hadn't been for my friends (many of whom are now incarcerated or on probation) and a 1390 on my SATs, I'd be wearing an orange jumpsuit right now....
* * * *
If any guy feels the need to punch one of MY charges in their teenaged face for DARING to want something more than a life as a baby mama, I'm going to become somebody's worst fucking nightmare, something they didn't learn while watching 50 Cent videos in a one-horse town in the middle of fucking nowhere.
I'm not some bookish introvert who turned to librarianship as a way to escape the real world. I'm not a librarian because I wanted a job where I could grow fat on a steady diet of the latest fiction while refusing to take responsibility for the repercussions that go along with changing people's lives through information literacy.
I'm the kind of guy who patrons turn to because I can show them that they're not stupid for wanting to learn, the kind of librarian brave enough to try to understand the whole patron, not just the normal, everyday reference-interview bullshit.
I care about what I do. I care about my patrons. Being a librarian, for me, does not stop at the end of the day.
* * * *
If a girl who I spent much of the last year teaching how to read calls me up, tells me that her ex-boyfriend just used her as a punching bag and PISSED on the books she checked out from another library, I'll get involved. I won't bring it up in a staff meeting, I'm not going to create a fucking READ poster, and I'm not going to give a bullshit presentation at a bullshit conference.
So, if you're the kind of 20-something loser who would punch a young woman in the face for daring to overcome her learning disability, for daring to want to spend more time with a good book than being your fuck buddy, please be advised that there are people bigger than you, stronger than you, and smarter than you who may show up on your doorstep to demand answers.
And we're not talking Melvil Fucking Dewey here.
* * * *
As a man who's experienced domestic violence and who's watched female friends go through it, Im sorta honor-bound in situations like this.
But for someone to resort to physical abuse because a person has learned to respect themselves through a better understanding of the world beyond poverty and illiteracy? There is no damned way I could look at myself in the mirror, as a man or as a librarian, knowing that a person I've helped was abused.
What can I say? Sometimes a guy just has to make housecalls.
Let's just say I don't regret a SINGLE DAMNED THING I did tonight. Period.
Don't assault my patrons, people I tutor, or women in general. That makes me very, very angry. And, while you may feel the need to talk smack, to call me a faggot or a bookworm while I'm confronting you on your behavior, please remember that I've lost count of the number of times I've done this in my lifetime.
And the asphalt, or so I'm told, will never taste the same after our not-so-polite conversation has ended.
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