I've come to accept the fact that I'm the only person to ever turns off her phone when she's in the library. Instead of grumbling about it, I use what I hear for story fodder. It's amazing what people will say, even in a public place. Last time I was in the library I got an ear full.
So it's a weekend and I've hauled my laptop and pile of notes to the library to get some editing done. In my library there's a room in the back corner that I particularly love to work in. Its got big picture windows facing the wooded hillside behind the library and a little sliver of the docks down by the lake. Lots of lovely light and some nice plush chairs in front of a fake fireplace.
Since this room is set off to the side, and it houses special research books that can't be checked out, few people come through here, so normally it's pretty quiet. The only down side to this room is it's the "I've really got to take this call" room. People are always ducking in with their cellphones and using their "I'm whispering" but everyone can still hear them voice.
That day it was a gal in her early 20s who came in and plopped her huge purse down on one of the chairs across the room from me.
"Why does it matter who called the cops?" she says. My typing slows. What?
"Is she in the room? Can you leave so we can actually talk?" Long pause. I bring up a new Word doc and start typing what I hear (at least the interesting parts, she mumbled and cursed a lot).
"So you were lying when you texted her?"
"I don't know, like, I guess, like, it's like fine, like you know?" (I wish that was an exaggeration)
"Like I don't care if you get back with her... ya, I love you too."
"You're totally like better then that [word that start with b and rhymes with witch]."
"She's like using you. That [lots of cursing]."
"Do you have $20 right now?"
"Dang, well maybe you should have read the fine pint."
"So they took your whole check and you only have $7?"
"[a lot of really graphic curse words]"
"Why was it when I was in jail it like, and when I get out, like you go over that night and..." She walked out of the room, so I didn't get to hear the end of the story :( To bad. It actually was starting to get interesting.
Maybe next time ^_^