Our Public Library

To say it is a pong would be an egregious disservice to the stench of body odor that is embedded in the carpets, furniture and permeated throughout the inhabitants. Men lounge about in various states of consciousness. A man curses as he knocks over his soda bottle. Then he returns to slumber as it pours out all over the floor.

I try to focus my attention on my task when the fetor of marijuana strikes my nostrils. I look up to see a man rolling a large blunt with total impunity, fervently licking the edges only a few feet away. I try to tune out the tumult as a woman’s delirious wails slice through my concentration, her vociferations much resembling those of the northeastern screech owl.

The book I’m reading, and the table and chair I’m sitting on, all seem to be bedaubed with some mixture of grease and urine. Defiant youths repose with dirty feet on tables and chairs. A man staggers over, smelling of liquor. The phone he carries with him is playing expletive laden rap music loudly through the speaker. He sits down next to me, unfettered by anyone’s desire for peace.

This is the Eugene Public Library that we voted for and paid for.

Eric Harris