My Life at the Washington District Library

By Jake 

A few weeks ago I moved from Hammond, IN to Washington, IL. This would be seen as "moving up" by those who do not try to live out the lyrics of Dr. Dre's seminal album "The Chronic."

Washington is an upper middle class Illinois town which lies right outside of Peoria--a mere fifteen minute drive. The traffic is light and on our way to Peoria the sun glimmers across the Illinois River, which is surrounded by thick forests. The air is crisp and clean and does not reek of industry but rather of the sweet smell of trees and flowers. This is a nice contrast to the thick, nauseating smell of Hammond.

The only drawback to this move has been the lack of internet in our apartment. Instead I am allowed one hour of internet time at the Washington District Library (main branch). This is their rule, not mine. On the screen a timer counts down, sending me straight back to 1993 as it hits zero.

Some of the computer restrictions are obvious--no downloading for instance--but being forced to use Internet Explorer is something I would not have wished on Sadam Hussein during his incarceration in America before we murdered him and turned him into a martyr. Internet Explorer reminds me of the days when internet pornography was static pictures and downloading a song took an hour. Were these the "good ol' days"? God, I certainly hope not.

Often times, as I browse the internet, checking my email, One Year in Texas and Facebook (the three websites that I am allowed to visit), a nerdy girl sits next to me with her face nearly pressed against the monitor. She pecks at the keys with two fingers like a chicken feeding. She does nothing but play Farmville with the concentration I cannot even manage during intercourse.

Every 20 minutes somebody's cellphone rings and they, of course, answer it inside the library, usually sitting right at a computer. They always talk as loudly and casually as possible. On a few occasions I have had to remind them that we are in a library, which generally has a rule against loud noises. In fact, a notice on the entrance directly states to take phone calls outside.

The library itself sits in a building known as The Five Points of Washington. There is a workout area, a reception hall, a juice bar and possibly a concert hall. This has been my home-away-from-home since I moved to Washington at the beginning of August. I have made good use of the library (I have read five books in the last 20 days and am working on two more) and its computers. Not having the internet is a blessing and curse, much like being a werewolf. I have a lot more free time to read books, but I cannot stay in tune with the memes that are capturing our nation's attention and hearts.


  1. This post makes me want to move to Illinois and shun all players of Farmville.

  2. Why would that girl be playing Farmville on the internet when she could just go to the outskirts of town and play Farmville IRL?

  3. I love this soooo much especially how you admit you want to be kept up to date on memes.

  4. LOL jake! almost as funny as watching you try to use my mac.

  5. The Brooklyn Public library HQ down the street from me has basically the same internet rules only theyre posted in Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and Black Muslim, so I pretend not to understand them.

  6. jake, is that a real picture of your workspace? i've missed seeing your name on my gchat list all day.

  7. Thanks Maddie. I've missed seeing that you were busy all the time on gchat. That is not a picture of the Washington Library. It's a lot nicer here than in that pic.

  8. This is SUCH A GOOD ARTICLE. Undiscovered gem: Scott commenting, specifically describing a language as "Black Muslim."


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