India Choquette is a writer, a trainer, a teacher, a breakfast sandwich eater, a person in love with a person, and a FOrmer Vermonter living in New York City.

Writing at the New York Public Library (Morningside Branch)

Things I’ve seen since I’ve started writing in the library:

A man watch hypnosis videos on YouTube for over thirty minutes. He wore a blue windbreaker and had flyaway white hair. The purple and yellow moving spirals spun and spun towards the center of the screen. Each time a video ended, he’d reach for the mouse and select the next hypnosis video in the queue. What is the difference between these videos? Do they have different messages? He never expanded to full screen, and his hypnosis was distracted by the ads, reviews, and suggested videos that framed the border.

Old men pull the newspaper one inch from their nose and turn their heads as they follow the words across the long page. They read like a printer: eyes scanning and moving along as each word imprints itself on their mind.

People awkwardly hover around the bathroom door, scanning the “World Japanese Language Books” to the right. They pretend they are not waiting, and some even pick up a book. I also saw two women fight over their place in line. The victor was tall white woman with dyed blonde hair that was combed upwards like a shorter, sandier Bride of Frankenstein. The vanquished: an older woman in a deep purple sari with gray creeping around the edges.

A short man eat an entire meal from a Styrofoam takeout container. The librarians left him alone although food is prohibited.

A little toddler with bold hair and a yellow shirt run through the aisles screaming delightedly as she held a book in each fist, clapping them together and raising them over her head. Neither her adult nor the two librarians were able to catch her as she ran through the labyrinth of shelves.


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