Storytime: Looking for a Hideout

This entry is part of 5 in the series Summer in D.C.

I’ve been trying to find my hideout here in D.C. My spot where I can go and have wifi and food and not be bothered. By anyone. From what Reuben tells me, Petworth was a black neighborhood at one point, but the fingers of gentrification are quickly squeezing the life out of that reality. In fact, when I’m just out and about, I notice a handful of white people and their families walking through the neighborhood.

My first hideout prospect was Petworth Public Library. That’s right past tense – and I’ll tell you why.

Public spaces are a magnet for the most bizarre characters. So Thursday morning, I’m walking to the library. I was in a good mood. I’d already gone for my run earlier that morning. I was about to get some writing done.

As I’m approaching the steps of the library, I noticed this man – couldn’t say definitively if he was homeless but it crossed my mind. But the whiff I got once I passed him told me my suspicions were correct.

I’m sitting, writing, minding my business and this nigga keeps switching chairs which he is completely within his right to do – but he would literally sit in a chair and push it across the floor just making all the noise. And he does this with every chair in the little sitting area where we are.

Dis a library right?

Fast forward a few hours and I hear arguing down the hall.

Dis a library right?

The arguing ceases. But I see my guy out the corner of my eye behind the book shelves. Wasn’t sure if he was the one in the altercation but that’s later confirmed.

Out of nowhere, my mans proceeds to hock a loogie and spits it right there on the floor.


I decide to take my little situation to the basement floor. I’d never been down there before but madness was ensuing where I was and I just couldn’t. I didn’t stay down there long but when I walked back up the stairs, my guy was in handcuffs.

Moral of the story: ooooh chile, the ghetto prevailed that day at the Petworth library

Disclaimer: Now who is to say if this man was mentally ill or not. It’s very possible. But that really wasn’t the point of the story.

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1 Comment

  1. Yep, public spaces draw bizarre peeps alright, but good story and you told it well. Mom used to always say: if you want free entertainment go to a park or any public space and people watch.

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