1965-01-26 - A Brief History of Class Issues
Summary: A random meeting in the Public Library. Class tensions.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
julie manuel 

So many books a man could get lost in here. The library is quiet and serene relative to so much of the city; the soft bustle of people moving about is ever-present, but the shouting, honking, and noise of the outside world is, at least, muffled here. Manuel paces up and down the aisles, slowly perusing the titles. He isn't looking for anything in particular, just browsing in the World History section.

Julie is already there among the stacks, sort of hopping at intervals as she scans across the Dewey codes along the bottom of the books, before straining a bit to pull one down from a section that seems to be based on some sort of history of industry in Europe.

Manuel already knew Julie was there when he turned around the corner from the previous aisle; his ability to sense emotions gives him a kind of empathic radar, letting know him know where people are. And it's a public library, thus impossible to avoid people entirely. He had grabbed a book from another shelf, and is silently leafing through the pages as he walks. After a moment, and a few steps, he closes the hardcover volume, and sets it unceremoniously on a shelf. Clearly where it doesn't belong, but he doesn't seem to care much about that. Another is taken in turn, before he looks to see Julie. "Pardon me, miss," he says without making any effort to mask his Spanish accent.

Julie sort of catches the book as she finally eases it off the shelf, and smiles, "Shoulda gone for one of those stepstools," she says to Manuel, her own accent all of New York Italians. "What can I do for ya?"

Julie says, "Oh, never mind, got distracted."

"Forgive my manners," Manuel says, a smile breaking on his lips. "Had I been paying more attention, I'd have seen you struggling to reach." He closes the distance in a couple long strides, and closes the book he has in his hand. He glances at the book she's taken down, and places the one he had been looking at on the shelf, again in the wrong place entirely. "If I have to guess.. you have an essay to write about the Industrial Revolution?" He cocks his head to side slightly, giving another smile to the young woman. "An interesting subject, no dobut, but not something one generally reads for pleasure, no?"

Julie smirks, "Well, you could be surprised around me, that way, but I gotta do a thing for a class about how technology changes world events, and all that kinda stuff. How bout you?" She eyes the title of Manuel's book, there, and finally notices, "Oops, you got that book in the wrong spot, in case anyone was looking for it."

"So I was not entirely wrong," Manuel says with a bit of a grin. "I am merely browsing. If something strikes my interest, I will read, but mostly I enjoy the peace and serenity of the Library.. my father always told me that his best memories were the times he could shut himself away in our family's library for hours at a time.. I must make do with somewhat more public a location, but we must all accept some sacrifices, yes?" He smirks at that, and then eyes the book he had just put down. "One of the attendants will replace it, I am certain. This is, after all, what we pay them to do." And there's the arrogance. It was hiding in there somewhere just below the surface. "Tell me, Miss, what a girl like you is doing interested in such things? Technology, machines? Surely your real interests must lie in more.. feminine pursuits?" And there's the thinly veiled misogyny!

Julie smirks, there. She's heard that all before, and seems pretty used to that being the world she lives in, …for now. She jibes, "Sure, mac, that just ain't what they pay you to do." She glances the fellow over. "So, you like having attendants around?"

Manuel tilts his head slightly at Julie's question. "I like to see people gainfully employed," he says. "Everyone has their place in society, no? Not everyone will grow up to be a poet, a historian, or a Rockefellar. Some find their place in the service of others, some do not. Just because I do not does not mean I look down on those who do, if that is what you are implying? Part of their job is reshelving the books. I do not know the system as well as they do, so it would be no better for me to attempt to replace a book than it would be for me to merely set it on a shelf." Clearly, he sees nothing wrong with his logic. And clearly, he's never worked a day of his life in public service of any kind.

Julie smirks, and turns the binding of her book toward the fellow. "It's just putting em back in the order of these numbers here, …I'm pretty sure you're qualified for that," she banters. "They'll put em back if they get left out or when you take em out and return em, but they don't check all the books every day. Anyway, sometimes the idea of being educated ain't being a historian, or making a lotta money, getting waited on hand and foot, then wondering what to do with yourself… It's about being all civilized and stuff, even if you's in the trades."

"You're," Manuel says with a slight dip of his head toward her, casually correcting Julie's diction while maintaining his smile. Oh yes, he's /that/ guy. What is the point of language if you're not going to use it properly? "I do believe they perform regular checks for misplaced books, but be that as it may, it cannot be left to the public to manage their organization for them, yes?" He does, however, pick the book up again, and leaf through a few pages idly, glancing back up to Julie after a moment.

Julie shrugs, "Everyone else in here's the public, too, ya know. Nothing wrong with doing your bit for the next guy, that doesn't mean the librarians don't earn their pay, too. That's kind of the point of *being* the public, in a country like this.

"Aren't we on rather a high horse," Manuel says with a bit of a laugh, letting it hang in the air a moment. "Trying to make me feel badly for merely allowing those who make it their profession to do their job?" That smile doesn't fade, though it's fairly obvious he's put out by her attitude. Without any outward signs, Manuel focuses on the girl, using his empathic abilities to subtly shift her emotional state from one of moral indignation to mild remorse. "Not very ladylike," he says quietly without breaking eye contact.

Julie is just about saying, "Yeah, maybe you and me both, buddy," she's about to say, though any manipulated remorse there doesn't last long on the lady-like comment, that being *really* rubbing her the wrong way where there'd been some inter-class banter before. "Usually when someone says that, they ain't being much of a gentleman, either, you know." There's rather suddenly a noticeable whrrrr of something in one of her coat pockets, and the girl claps a hand down over it to quiet it. She takes a deep breath.

Manuel merely smirks again at the comment, letting his senses drink in her emotional response to his prodding. "No need to get riled up, Miss," he says after the noise has been stopped. "Civilized people can disagree without becoming upset, no? I will let you get back to your studying. I'm sorry for having bothered you," he says, clearly not all that sorry about anything. He gives a slightly deeper bow of his head, places the book back on the shelf in a final act of defiance, and steps past the young woman toward the end of the aisle. "Have a lovely day," he calls back to her before turning around the corner.

Julie sighs, there. Guys can be such… Well, whatever she's feeling there isn't charitable. "Yeah, same to you, buddy, I'll maybe read aboutchas in the history books someday."

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