It is possible to become a pantophobic and not know it. It’s possible to act, react like one, and not know about it. Obviously, to somebody I acted like that and I did not know it.
The public library lady at the checkout desk told me once that I looked and behaved like one. Then I started thinking in reverse, what things I did, how I behaved, what people I met in her library, before I approached her desk.
The woman was—what it looked to me, at that time—about twenty-five years old. She had a marble-like face, piercing eyes, promising lips, and no eyebrows. She was stern in her verbal communication. She chose her words carefully and diligently. When she spoke, her words would bounce off the ceiling first, as if she spoke from the stage, way above her listeners.
“You, young man, look very uptight!” she said looking down at me.
When I didn’t answer, she said that that was the proof: alluding to my silence. She took the books from my lop carefully, like they were 3-month-old babies. She briefly looked at me and said that they were her “babies.” I got that impression, too. I was amused how I read her mind. I concluded right away that she and I had a telepathy thing. I knew what telepathy meant. My mother, a Gypsy fortuneteller, told me that.
“Do you have a girlfriend?” she asked. She didn’t look at me, so I didn’t answer that question either. “That is yet another proof!” she said. She asked what new reads she could offer me? I gave her the ready list: Chekhov, Dostoyevsky, and Kafka. I could not talk because I was thinking what happened before I got here in front of this librarian. Then she asked me what grade I was in? I raised my hand and, using my fingers, counted to nine. “Yet, another proof!” she said.
When she saw me crossing my legs, as in badly wants to urinate, she asked if I wanted to know where the Boys’ bathroom was, and that it looked like I was in a dire need of using one. And, when I nodded “yes,” she said that was yet another proof. In front of the Boys’ bathroom with my crossed legs, holding in my urge to urinate, the lady glanced at me from a distance. She walked hastily toward the spot where I was standing.
“Do you want me to open the bathroom door for you?” She asked.
I, again, just nodded.
She did open the door for me. While in the bathroom, I did what I was supposed to do. Then I waited until the other boy grabbed the knob on the bathroom door on the way out. I sprang right after him, as I was his shadow, his alter ego. I knew what “alter ego” meant. My mother, a Gypsy fortuneteller told me that by describing my Gypsy father first being drunk, and then being sober.
While walking back in front of this lady librarian, I noticed that she still had her eyes glued on me.
“Look here, young boy” she said. “I’ve been watching you from the moment you stepped in; you were afraid to open the door and waited for other people to open it for you, so you could sneak in and not touch the bacteria-infected door knob; somebody else had to pull the books from the shelves for you because you are afraid of walking under and around the ladder. You were glancing at the ceiling, being afraid that it might collapse on your head; you were looking at the windows afraid that somebody might throw a rock through them and hit you in your face. You were watching the floor under your feet afraid that a sink hole might appear there and swallow you up. You were afraid to talk to other kids, afraid that the germs from their open mouths might invade your own mouth; for the same reason, you decided not to talk to me. You—while in the Boys’ bathroom—used the toilet bowl for fear that your pecker might touch the urinal, regardless that those urinals are made for the boys’ height and their peckers. You, young man are a typical PANTOPHOBIC, a potential writer; you don’t need to read anybody’s books, but write and read your own!”
When I looked at her, this time she had a pair of thick, black, eyebrows, as no female on my list “yet-to-see” had. Not even my Gypsy mother, the fortuneteller, who was well-known and recognizable for her thick eyebrows.
I, now, knew/realized that I didn’t have to think back to what I did before I came to her front desk.
The mutual telepathy was in place. Now, just now, we understood each other.
That is how I remember meeting my first EVER librarian!
J. J. Deur works and thinks in a creative way from Brooklyn, New York. He is interested in every/anything that makes a human being think about his/her past, present and future. He drinks coffee without sugar—just to prove the point: Not everything should be s w e e t!!!!!!