Monday, October 20, 2008

No I do not wish to see you dance, or anything else for that matter

There's a guy who is probably Native American who only comes in when he's bombed. I only bring up the Native American part because of what he did yesterday. On Sundays, we show an old movie in our sumptuous Community Room. The guy had been around most of the afternoon, chatting up staff members about Elvis Presley. (Personally, I learned that The King had a twin who died and that his mother's name was something, but I forget what it was, but I'm pretty sure he said that she had one. Sorry, I'm too lazy to do my job as a reference librarian and look it up for you right now.) It was all well and good: I'll listen to just about anybody for a little while, including the inebriated, and when I've had enough, I just say that I have to get back to work.

I had the DVD in the player in the Community Room and was about to go up to the front of the room and do my little Masterpiece Theater schtick about the movie when the guy came in. Maybe he wants to see the movie, I hoped. But, no, I was wrong.
"I wanna do a dance for you," He told me, "a traditional dance." Only he slipped up on the word "traditional."
"Actually, it's movie day here," I said brightly, trying to sound all chipper and somehow give the impression that people came in all the time wanting to dance for us. "If you'd like to have a seat I'm about to..."
"No, man," he slurred, "I'm a do a dance!" and proceded to start what might have been a very moving dance, only he was, as I mentioned, several sheets to the wind. So when he lifted one foot, he began to lose his balance and stumble backward. Upon recovery, I wanted either get him into a chair or get him out of the room, so I told him again that it was movie day, and not dance day.
The dance, he informed me, was a gift of the Spirit and I had no right to prevent him from dancing. I offered to give him the card of our programs specialist so that he could do an entire dance program or he could do his dance outside the library, or he could have a seat and enjoy a film noir classic. I was hoping he'd take the card, but he actually sat down and lasted through the opening credits before getting up and tottering off.
If he'd dry out, I'd actually like to see the dance.

1 comment:

Annie Lewis said...

Wow, it sounds like you handled it pretty well Chris. Kudos to you. Was this your great program idea?