Read part I first!
Monday morning was received with determination as I bounced off the bed like a Christian kid on Christmas day. Energetic and free of cramps, I put on my better jeans and eye liner and made it early to work. It was a long day, but a productive one. The excitement mixed with the shame of being excited about stalking a stranger was suppressed, and this strange concoction of emotions led me to work fast and focused. The boss was out of office, and on that 75 degree afternoon of joy, I left work early and stopped by JP Licks for a cup of half vanilla, half chocolate with hot fudge, that was finished just as I pulled into the library parking lot.
Here I come, Mr. Fuzzy Beard, the Volunteer – this time my hair is fragrant. I had a plan too; I’d browse the catalog from the computer station facing the foyer. Yes, I’d spy on him for a few minutes, assess the situation and find the perfect “in.”
I sat in front of the computer for fifteen minutes but saw no sign of him. I peeked into the office where returned books are sorted, I walked around, checked the reference desks on the first and second floors, and was in low spirits as I made my way toward the third. I thought, I’m fucking crazy. I’m a crazy stalker. Downstairs, now. Research a book you will take home and read, as punishment for your insanity. I swear, for as secular a life as I seem to live, I was never able to let go of the Catholic shame and self-castigation bit. I blame the Church for my bondage infatuation.
As I foraged through sci-fi compilations, focusing on titles featuring loveless, faithless societies, I thought about the boring baseball-loving guys in the sea of insipidity that is the Boston bachelor population. I knew my library lover would keep coming to mind. I hadn’t much to think about, so naturally, I started making shit up.
He likes horror movies, gruesome ones. Unlike me, he does not gag when guts are sliced on screen, but he would respect my courage to watch, nonetheless. He prefers independent movies and is the type to be up for one with a half hour’s notice. His snacks of choice are Skittles – mine are Twizzlers – and we would share. He can play a few Temple of the Dog tunes on acoustic, but he sounds pretty bad when he tries to sing along. That’s OK, I’ve a pretty nice voice. He likes to read for hours on end but would really enjoy a pretty girl, in her own literary world, a few feet away. Yep, that would be me. Silly boy – he has no idea how much I enjoy being nice and preparing snacks for reading breaks.
It was nearly seven by the time I went to checkout. My eyes were on my phone when a woman’s flirty laughter caught my attention. I looked up and ahead, and there he was, on my side of the counter, making her day. A few moments later she called me up. He and I were shoulder to shoulder now – I, fumbling for my library card in the black hole I carry as a purse, and he, leaning my way and watching me silently in my clumsiness. I could feel his stare and it was distracting.
OK, here we are! Sorry, my purse is a mess.
Aaaah, all done with Teddy K? he asked, as the lady – now frowning – scanned my card.
Yep, yep. I know all about America getting back on track now. [THUMP.THUMP.THUMP.THUMP.THUMP. – Sorry, that’s my heart. Go on.]
Cool. Heading home?
Yeah, after I get some food. I just had ice cream, but that’s not exactly a healthy dinner.
I bet it was chocolate. Am I right?
Yeah, actually! Good guess! [You’re so brilliant!]
OK, dear, you’re all set, have a good day. NEXT!
Whore, I thought. You filthy, jealous, unwanted whore.
I’ll see you around… what’s your name?
I’m Adam. We shook hands.
Nice to meet you, Adam, I’m Juliana. Take care!
I pressed my lips shut as I walked away, waiting to reach the door before screeching under breath. I should’ve stuck around, made conversation. Why does he remember me? Is he just a friendly librarian? Does he think I’m cute? Adam… I have a forbidden fruit for you, Adam. God, I’m so lame.
Inside the car I checked my hair in the rear-view mirror but my eyes went a bit south to something horrible.
Oh my fucking God, I have an ice cream moustache. I have a FUCKING CHOCOLATE MOUSTACHE. I’ve been walking around the fucking library with a Dirty Sanchez. He was staring straight at my retarded upper lip when he guessed chocolate. Uuugghh…
I whimpered and nearly shed tears. My throat felt painful as the rage climbed from gut through esophagus, but I clenched my teeth, grunted, and stomped my feet because it was still light out and there were too many people walking by for a bona-fide scream. Fuck it. Whatever. FUCK. IT. Seriously, I don’t care. I can’t care. I went straight home that evening and blasted music through earphones on a long walk with the dog – when you have Pennywise, you don’t need love.