Chris comes to the library daily and he isn't employed because he's probably on Social Security. I suspect Chris has some sort of mental illness that requires some serious medication. He's pleasant enough - he'll say hello, he's always sure to sign in to use the computer, and he doesn't interact with other patrons which, believe me, is an enormous relief for all of us. He's twitchy, unkempt and has that faraway glazed crazyeye that tends to make people nervous. He seems to have trouble with some of the little things in life, things that help you go out in public and not look like a complete nutbar. Like tightening your belt and wearing underwear. I've seen more of that man's asscrack than I care to admit.
One Friday afternoon in early winter Chris came in to use the computer. It was a busy time at the library with kids coming in after school and people wanting DVDs for the weekend. I wasn't paying much attention to Chris, but I did notice that he must have had a cold because he was sniffling a lot. I've been known to offer sniffling patrons tissues because that wet snotsucking sound drives me crazy.
Stick my hand inside a chicken to pull out the guts? Clean up still warm cat puke? The sight of blood? No problem. But mucous? Squicks me out. I once threatened violence when I caught a certain husband of mine blowing his nose in the shower.
So as I was going about my librarian duties, I half-heard Chris sneeze. Just then my coworker Kay said, "Oh. my. God."
"What's wrong?" I turned to see Kay covering her eyes with her hand.
"It's Chris. He's got snot just hanging out of his nose and all down the front of his shirt."
I couldn't look. I wouldn't look. I was starting to feel a little gaggy. "I can't deal with this, Kay. I will seriously throw up." I was practically under the desk by this time, I had to get something solid between me and the snotbomb.
"Wait, wait...He's wandering away. I think he's going to the restroom to clean up."
I stayed put, just to be sure.
"Oh shit. Oh no." Kay swore. Kay rarely swears.
"What, what?!" I could only imagine the horror.
"Chris just stopped at the drinking fountain."
Oh, yes. Yes he did. Chris, with a thick jiggly rope of snot still hanging out of his face, bent down into the drinking fountain and had himself a drink. Kay went to fetch the Lysol and I wanted to run screaming from the building.