So Saturday I spent four hours at the public libarry working on my book proposal for She Speaks.
I concentrated very hard most of the time, except when I was craving chocolate or when those little kids were confused and thought they were at recess, or when I was distracted by the men who were wandering through the books discussing every topic under the sun, mainly politics and history with an intermittent snippet of entertainment thrown in. "Oh, why don't they stop talking?" I asked myself. "Or maybe audition for Jeopardy, because they sure know a lot."
Then I realized that I was being distracted by a man, as in "singular." I thought I was listening to two men when in fact one man was having a conversation with himself. He chose to sit at the table next to me. I tried to concentrate on writing and ignore him, but I noticed he kept pulling very thick books from the shelves to pseudo-read; that is, he would turn the pages while looking around and chatting. Then he would stack that open book on top of the other open book and get another after consulting himself.
Just slightly distracting. But also kind of endearing. And I'm going to say it: funny. But I did not laugh, so you don't have to click away from here right now to get away from the mean lady.
It's just ironic that I went there to get away from distractions like teenagers and yappy dogs and lawn mowers and telephones and my fatal attraction, blogging.
So I ended up putting the earphones in just to block out noise because I don't listen to music if I am writing. I just want quiet. If I'm doing busy-work, I might listen to music, but not if I'm creating something. Wow, that sounds high-falutin': "If I'm creating something." (Like when I create my scientific analyses of which junk food goes best with American Idol.)
Anyway, after a while, Jorge joined me there, working across the table from me, just like we did in college. That's right. While you were out going to your parties in college, we were simultaneously smokin' the keyboards off of our graduation-present Brother electric typewriters, vibrating my mom's kitchen table's screws loose, which is probably a good metaphor for what we were doing to my parents' sanity, since they had to put up with that awful rat-a-tat machine-gun racket. Incredibly, they never once said, "Can ya give that a REST?!"
Anyway, I was trying to concentrate in spite of all that distraction when a very, very elderly lady passed my husband and me and virtually exploded a natural gas emission that was quite loud and quite protracted. To the point of breaching the noise blocking capability of the earphones. To the point of unbelievability.
I dared not look at Jorge until she shuffled away, and then ...
I lost it.
So you may have to write me off after all.
People, if you want to work without being distracted, DON'T go to the public library. You'd be better off going to an auction or a riot or field day at your kid's school. But wherever you go, don't count on the library for quietness--they just don't shush 'em like they used to.