Sadism is alive and well and working at the Ypsilanti District Library.
Yesterday, I decided to continue to try to work walking into my everyday life (I'm told it's a healthy activity), so I decided to walk to the library to pick up the book-club book, which I had on hold. I even decided, in a bout of uncharacteristic enthusiasm, to walk briskly, and put on a T-shirt and sweatpants for the job. Pocketless sweatpants, so I brought nothing but my library card with me. The library's about a mile from my place, so this seemed like a good walking opportunity.
It was 80-something degrees and the sun was beating down hard, and let's not forget I'm pretty out of shape, here... so when I got to the library, I was dripping and a little winded. I handed the attendant the obviously only item I had on my person - my library card - and asked for the book I had on hold.
"You owe $10.20 in late fees," he said coolly, handing it back. "You can carry a balance of ten dollars, but I'm going to need twenty cents."
"Twenty cents," I said after an incredulous moment.
"Twenty cents," he replied, with what looked suspiciously like relish.
I stared at him a long time, then turned and walked out. You know he could have overridden that, and you know that he knew that I had walked there for that book and that I hadn't a cent on me. He was enjoying what little power he had. The little worm.
Fury can quicken one's pace like nobody's business, and I stormed home, grabbed a quarter from the kitchen counter, and stormed back. This time I was feeling slightly nauseous by the time I got there, a little dizzy, but I went in and handed my quarter and my card to another man, who was now assisting the worm.
"Actually," he said, "before I can check this particular book out to you, I'm going to need--"
"You cannot make me walk to Depot Town and back!" I said, rather more loudly than intended. Roared might be a more accurate word. "That guy over there already made me do that once!"
He hurriedly hit a button on the keyboard and handed me the book. "Um, well, we'll override it this time," he said.
I should damn well think so!, is what I wanted to say, but didn't.
When I got home, I was pretty out of it. Spots in my vision, weirdly swollen fingers, clammy. Maybe I'd better reevaluate this walking-is-healthy business. Seems to me it could kill me.
But I have my library book, anyway.