The librarians at the Lexington County Public Library must think I’m demented. I understand–if I were a casual bystander, I would be pretty concerned regarding my mental health. Truthfully, I’m pretty concerned about my mental health in any case.
Every day, soon after the library opens up, I stagger in, laden with 3-4 bags stuffed full of what could, to the naked eye, be all my earthly goods. I’m usually wearing unflattering, bag-like clothing, sometimes with a bonus rip or stain. I’m always rocking either a serious case of either bed-head or wet, stringy, “Hair dryer? What’s that?” head.
I proceed to take over a table at the library; I put on headphones and do an appalling “white girl dancing to rap” (seizure style). I munch on what looks to the naked eye like pieces of dried, compacted vomit (actually homemade granola bars). I frequently spin 180 degrees in my chair, stare blankly out the window for a moment with my lips moving, then turn to my computer and frantically pound out a sentence or two–after which I collapse against my chair in a resigned state of utter exhaustion. I mumble to myself, and (which is much, much creepier), giggle to myself. I pack up and leave only when the librarians start coughing subtly in my direction.
Now, truly, there are reasons I do all this. The library is far enough away from my house that it behooves me to bring along several bags of goods, including but not limited to: every book I’ve ever owned, high-protein snacks, Band-Aids, a travel pillow, 8 tubes of Chapstick, 3 packs of gum, nail clippers, extra sweatshirts/shoes etc. (“Always be prepared” are words I live by).
Furthermore, I do my best work when I can tear at my hair, so why style it? I can’t risk constricting my brain at this point in the semester, so baggy clothes are a must. Homemade granola bars are healthful and take forever to chew, so I have time to ponder my next sentence over each bite. Staring blankly at nature helps reboot my poor little brain cells after 3 hours of staring wistfully at the blank Word document on my screen. Talking aloud helps me organize my thoughts, and giggling? Well, a girl has to have some stress relief every once in awhile, even if she has to sound like the Joker while doing it. Rap. . .well, there’s really no excuse for that.
But you see, dear Lexington Librarians, you can stop finding me affordable housing brochures and looking up the numbers to the nearest mental institutions. I’m not actually in the throes of a mental breakdown. I’m just a student in a program that simulates the experience really well.