I was sitting in my usual spot, working in the library. I have often thought that libraries are sexually charged places, but this has something to do with the impossibility of even verbal, let alone physical interaction. As I have said before, if one desires a frisson of excitement, it is to be found in restraint, in covering up, in patience. The mind must not be deprived of its imaginative work by feasts of the eye! Yet even the hushed halls of places of learning crumble against the pressure of an uncouth culture, beating its walls from within and without.
The Place Where I Sit. Almost.
Immediately to my right, with her back to me, a woman was working away. At first, I only noticed the ear plugs: sad testimony to the inevitable noise. Well, thought I, at least I won’t have any trouble from her. Until the man arrived. As she plucked out her earplugs, I noticed the rest of her, entirely clad in black, tight work-out gear. Her nether woman was barely covered, and in the gap between the top of her sweat pants and the bottom of her t-shirt (about ten inches), her rather skimpy underwear made an unwelcome appearance. She smiled a come-to-bed hello at this unexpected visitor, who kissed her on the mouth – somewhere between friendly and obscene. She pulled the pins out of her raven hair and shook like a wet dog in a shampoo ad. He sat beside her, much preening and many eyes being made. They then proceeded to ‘talk about work’, each with one hand pointing at respective computer screens; academic and intellectual interest being feigned. His other hand made a bid for her shoulder, thereafter sliding down her back and lingering on the aforementioned lingerie. Looping his fingers around the thong, he brushed her naked skin with his thumb.
Enough. Concentration cast to the wind, I simply exited the room. I cannot help feeling it should not have been me seeking alternative shelter. In their little bubble of loveliness, no doubt thrilling to them, was something ghastly. Time and a place, dear readers, time and a place.