is a busy place. I go in and out several times a week. The new, state-wide borrowing system means that I can get books from any other library in the state also on the system as well as inter-library loans from other libraries.
I know the staff in there. When I was absent for a week because of the Senior Cat there were inquiries. Was everything all right? I explained briefly to the inquirer. She sympathised and said all the right things. I thanked her and thought nothing more of it. It was, I thought, the sort of thing anyone would do.
But I had to dash in yesterday and pick up three books I had ordered from other places. You serve yourself these days so I wasn't even expecting to speak to anyone apart from a passing "Hello".
And then, at the self-serve checkout desk, I heard someone say,
"Hello Cat. How's your father?"
It wasn't the person I had told earlier but another member of staff.
Then, from the desk where everything else is done someone else called out,
"Yes, how's your Dad?"
They know the Senior Cat of course. They are two long standing staff members and he was a regular user of the library up until a couple of years ago. Now he tends to let me get his books after looking at the on-line catalogue. But, they haven't forgotten him.
So I told them he was improving and went off to the bank and the chemist for him.
The three bank staff all asked how he was. The pharmacist and the girl serving in the chemist asked how he was.
I went to the greengrocer and one of the boys who works in there came up behind me and tugged my hair gently.
"How's your Dad doing?"
I hadn't told him either but one of the women in there had apparently told him.
And then, at the checkout in the supermarket, the very large and physically unattractive checkout girl who is avoided by far too many people although she is both knowledgeable and competent said to me, "Is your Dad okay now?"
I'd forgotten that I had, simply in passing, said that he'd had a fall and that I had to take something up to the hospital for him. I hadn't seen her since then. She had remembered.
I might live in the suburb of a medium sized city but it can still be like a little village. Some people still care about each other.