Walhydra was having her lunch break a few hours ago, out on the landscaped second floor courtyard of the big downtown library where she works.
She was feeling somewhat proud of herself, because—after months of faux-laziness—she had finally begun a week by resuming her "health and budget" routine of breakfast and lunch-to-carry.
The Main Library courtyard, with its long, gently splashing reflection pool, is usually a beautiful private space, away from the relative "noise" and "bussle" of the library.
In other words," Walhydra mutters, "a nice place to get away from the customers and colleagues I have to be nice to the rest of the time."
Except...just as Walhydra was settling into her PBJ and latest sci-fi escapism, out of Children's Library tromped two thousand chattering grade schoolers and their teachers to have—horrors!—lunch around the reflection pool.
Now, Walhydra has never bought into the "innocence of childhood" myth.
Yes, a few infants, toddlers and kinder-garteners can be cute... as long as they're behaving themselves and not crying. But once they start acting like real children, well...Walhydra is glad there are other people who want to be children's librarians and—eek!—parents.
[Although, wistful old gay guy that she is in this incarnation, Walhydra admits there's nothing much cuter than a daddy and a baby.]
Anyway, when this chimera of children (that's Walhydra's term of venery for them) usurped Walhydra's luncheon retreat, her reaction was a mixture of annoyance and...hmm...fear....
"Okay," she thought. "That's interesting."
With a little memory search she soon came up with a likely origin for associating terror with a troop of dear little tykes.
It goes back to the spilled tomato juice and all that followed through her own vulnerable, beteasèd sissy childhood.
Her memory of other little kids—with the exception of a few geeky friends—is not one of delightful play and comradeship. And the memory gets worse as it moves into the adolescent years.
So...Children + Teens = Terror.
Hmm. How does one go about exorcising such ghosts?