I live in a relatively wealthy town. I don't live in a particularly top notch section of the town, but, overall, the folks in Franklin are pretty well off. I used to live in Boston, but, after four years of relative rurality, I had become conditioned to the plodding, ever-so-regular flow of suburb life.
I got to the library about ten minutes before they opened. It was slightly chilly, but I enjoy the brisk weather, and I decided to wait outside, beside the rear entrance.
Five minutes later I was joined by a woman who was also waiting for the doors to open, but for a decidedly different reason -- the library is well heated, and she had nowhere else to go.
My city reflexes kicked in -- I felt the urge to walk away before she could (god forbid) ask me for change, or strike up a conversation, or, well, exist in my little, sheltered world. Franklin wasn't supposed to have homeless people, right? Did I miss a memo?
I don't know why I was so surprised by her selection of location; the library is a logical choice if you need a place to stay. It's warm, and they don't mind if you sit around for hours without buying anything.
I don't know why I was so surprised by her at all, in fact; there are people everywhere who get shuffled to the bottom of the lot. I think suburbians just do a better job ignoring them.
Five more minutes passed, and the librarians opened the doors. I returned my book, and the woman took a seat, staring off at something I couldn't see amidst the stacks. Sometimes, even now, I think about her, and that inevitably leads me to wonder why I walked out of that library so quickly. I can write whatever I want here in this journal, but the simple fact is that, until I learn to make a difference, I have no right to bemoan the status quo. I'm a part of it.