Today, I was in Blackpool Central Library, at 3 p.m. I was returning some books and already knew which ones I was getting out next. A little bit O.C.D maybe, but then we can afford to be now and again can’t we, as long as it doesn’t interfere with our lives, which it can do and often does… but moving swiftly on.
Anyway, I’ve already experienced strange, disturbing or usual things happening to me in Blackpool Central library and it’s extremely consistent. I just want to make it clear that it doesn’t happen anywhere else in Blackpool, or anywhere else in my life, or in any other libraries in the Wyre or Blackpool area, and these things ALWAYS happen to me when I ‘appear’ to be on my own.
The bare bones of it is, I got into the library with my husband, then my husband and I separated at that point (not in real life, just in the library) so that he could look at his books in his aisles and I could look at mine. I picked the books I wanted, within seconds, and then got that strange feeling that you get, when eyes start burning into your back and instinct tells you to look round.
I saw a woman about twenty five feet away from me and she appeared to have a camera and appeared to be taking photos and/or filming me. Now I wasn’t big headed enough or paranoid enough at that stage, to think she was ‘taking pictures’ of me, so I thought. ‘Oh, she must be taking pictures of the beautiful stained glass windows.’ Now Blackpool central library have some beautiful stained glass windows, at its rear, so it wasn’t unlikely that she might be grabbing images of them.
Still, I decided, instinctively, that I wanted to move on at that point, so I did. I walked down the main aisle and turned right, twice at the lights, into another section.
Well, lo and behold, said woman followed me. Not only did she follow me but she stood right in front of me, about five feet from me. She was aged 50- 60. 5 foot 5 inches and her and Kathy Bates were separated at birth. She had the same confident, focused ‘I-have-a right-to-do-this-aura’, that she had in Misery. She held up a brown jiffy bag, as one would a camera, or mobile phone, while taking a photo or some footage. The envelope was about A4 size. It was bulging, full of notes, papers, and had writing all over it, in blue biro, like someone might scribble notes and memos over something. She held it up, at face level, just as if it was a camera. She took a photo of my face or footage with this thing, for about the time it takes to take a photo, about five seconds. By now of course, I was looking at her and thinking, Covert Operation Or Crazy Person.
She was calm and serious. She had that journalist mentality, and she couldn’t have been that crazy because she scampered away as if her arse was on fire when she saw my ‘What the f***’ face. So quickly in fact, that when I caught up with my husband seconds later and began searching her out, she was gone. To make matters worse, my husband had to be somewhere for an hour. Now he always pecks me on the lips and says ‘Goodbye’ whenever we have to part. Well, he didn’t this time. He just disappeared. So, there I was, really freaked out, almost in panic attack mode and saying out loud, but not too loud for anyone to hear ‘Where the f*** is he?’
It’s strange, but, while I feel I’m a bit odd at times, there is nothing quite so frightening as that unpredictability of a stranger, approaching you in that way and having absolutely no idea what they are going to do next. It makes me feel sane in comparison. I was actually physically shaking from this encounter, for about half an hour afterwards. Who takes photos of you with a jiffy bag, without your consent, and so brazenly. I mean, who does that?
Well anyway, it was really creepy and I was disturbed and I have to off load and that’s why you are here.
Think of it this way, this is a kind of catharsis for me but think of yourself as a benevolent person who has done a charitable act. I had a weird experience and had to off load and you were there for me. Thank you. I am FREAKED OUT and you are lending a sympathetic listening ear and saying you can never get those five minutes back, but you know, you are helping someone. Be proud. You are a good person.
I am going to surrender. I will not fight the vortex that is Blackpool Central Library any more. There are so many books I want to read there. I will not be put off. I will not shake and tremble at the strange things that happen to me there any more. I will embrace it and be armed this time and therefore conquer it. I’m going to be ready for you next time, strange happenings. Bring it on… and watch this space.