I would venture to guess that if you were to conduct a survey of the number of attractive women that frequent the public library, compared to the number of deeply disturbed gentlemen that frequent the library, you would find that disturbed gentlemen outnumber attractive women by a margin of six to one. This, I have noticed, is a rather unfortunate truth that the gentler sex has had to deal with, as deeply disturbed gentlemen seem to think it is perfectly acceptable to confront and hit on these poor ladies whose only desired companionship is that of a good book.
This is why I generally refrain from approaching women at the library, for fear that they will assume I am disturbed. That, and the fact that you're suppose to be quiet at a library, but mostly the first thing.
But the other day, as I was at a table, writing away and minding my own business, I found myself confronted by an attractive woman. She was an older woman, older than me at least. I would say she was somewhere between 33-36. She was ethnic, maybe Persian. And she was cute. She was definitely cute. Especially when she smiled. When I first saw her she was smiling at me.
"Excuse me." She said as she approached me. "But do you know where the other outlets are. I need to plug in my computer." She motioned to my computer, which was plugged into one of the outlets below the table.
"Oh, no. I think that is the only one." I said casually-yet confidently. "You can have it if you want. My computer has a few hours charged already."
"I tell you what," She said as she leaned closer towards me. "Why don't we just share your charger. I have the same computer as you, we can just trade off."
"OK!" I agreed, a little too eagerly. I made a mental note to tone down the enthusiasm.
And so for the next hour, we sat at the table and shared my charger. Our system was pretty brilliant if I do say so myself. One of us would use the charger for ten minutes and then the other would use it for the next ten. But here was the brilliant part about it. Every time we would trade off, one of us would ask a question about the other. We would talk quietly for a few minutes, learning a little more about each other, and then go back to our work, before doing the whole thing again ten minutes later.
After an hour of this, I knew quite a bit about this fellow librarian dweller. Her name was Anna (not her real name) and she was Armenian. She had lived in Armenia for most of her life. But she moved out here some years ago and now worked part time in a bar in Pasadena, and lived with her mom in a small house. And she learned quite a bit about me too. She learned that I was a strong, impressive writer who had been mostly ignored by the Hollywood system because of his focus of substance over flashy writing. Oh yes, she knew me quite well.
We both knew each other so well, that I felt confident enough to ask her to join me for coffee at the coffee stand just outside the library.
"No, it's okay, I'm really not thirsty." She replied. This left me dejected, but I did not show it. Instead, I increased my typing speed by 40 percent, showing her how truly skilled I was. Ten minutes later she popped her head out from her laptop and looked over at me.
"You know, Randy," She smiled playfully as she said my name. "I actually think a coffee would be great right now."
Gotcha, I thought. The typing fast manuever always works on the ladies.
And so, we stepped out of the library for coffee. Unfortunately the first thing she noticed was that I did not, in fact, order I coffee, but rather a grape soda.
"Truthfully I can't stand coffee." I explained. "But I thought it would be easier to talk to you out here than in there." I said. And then I waited. This was the moment of truth. Would she be annoyed by my deception, even fearing that I was actually one of those disturbed library types, or would she find my directness endearing, even attractive?
She smiled playfully again and I let out an almost non-existent sigh of relief.
"Very sneaky, mister."
We sat down at a patio table, and for the first time since we met, we had a conversation in normal, audible voices. And we talked about a great many things. The weather, the people of LA, the traffic, all the usual b.s. that people talk about while drinking coffee and grape soda. But then I asked her what it was like to be Armenian in Los Angeles and things got interesting.
"Well, for the most part, I don't really think people treat me any different. But-" She paused suddenly. As if she had something important to say, but wasn't sure if she should share it.
"Go on. Say what you were gonna say."
"I don't know if I should. We just met each other."
"We shared computer cords, Anna. That's a connection that can never be broken." I joked. She laughed.
"OK. It's just that... I feel like we Armenians just have a better grasp of the world we live in." I opened my mouth, but before I could get a word out she reached over and touched my hand, which instantly silenced me. "I'm not saying that we are smarter than anyone else. It's not that. It's just that, the Armenians have been through so much, so much suffering and bitter disappointment, we had no other choice but to learn the hard truth about life."
"What kind of hard truth?" I asked while slyly looking down at the pretty hand that was touching mine.
"Like, for example, the fact that this country, the US, is completely controlled by a secret society. A society that holds power over everyone and everything."
"Uh huh..." I muttered in confusion. I could tell she wasn't happy with this response, as her pretty finger left mine abruptly. I did not like this, so I tried to keep her talking.
"So, um, what secret society is this, exactly?"
She leaned in across the table. "The Masons. It's the secret society of the Masons. They are the real leaders over this country. And they will use their puppet to destroy the people of America."
"Puppet?" I ask.
"Obama, of course. He is not the real leader of this country, he is just some pet of theirs. And if he gets reelected the Masons will have completed their final piece of their plan. Then your country will turn into the Soviet Union, just like mine did."
"Did the Masons have power over your country too?"
"No, but clearly they are following their plan."
"I see..." I said, because I had no fucking clue of what else to say.
"I'm telling you!" She exclaimed rather suddenly. "You cannot vote for that man! He is under the Masons control! You must vote for the other one. Romney. He is his own man. He will destroy all of the Masons if he is elected. You must believe me!"
But I didn't believe her. And I was kinda weirded out by this current turn of events. So I slurped my grape soda in silence and tried to think of something to say.
"So, can I get your phone number?" I finally said. Because why not, right?
That night, I laid in my bed and wondered a great many things. I wondered if Anna was the female version of the deeply disturbed library dwellers. I wondered if it was fair to call her that considering she was from a different country and had, evidently, seen a lot more hardship than I ever will. And then I thought, what if she is actually right, and I'm the fool for not believing her. What if ten years from now I will be standing in a deserted street, huddled around a fire barrel while America burns all around me, thinking back to that one cute girl from the library who tried her best to warn me of the dangers ahead.
Either way, I finally thought, I should probably wait two days before I text her.