The Community Dropout Centre

This place was so popular that a long queue always formed outside the front door before it opened at 9.00 a.m. The patrons were a liquorice allsorts brigade of red-faced, middle-aged men, young mothers, sullen youths with dirty university t-shirts, and those best described as Star Wars extras. The red-faced men generally congregated around the centre of the main room, discussing Iraq, sport and the Irish question in extremely loud voices, while the less red-faced read newspapers on the periphery. One man always selected the ‘Daily Mirror’, and then walked out with it through the side door.
The youths sat in a purple room, posting CD’s and DVD’s into the various slots which surrounded them, ready for an hour or two of electronic oblivion, while the young mothers quickly unloaded their offspring into the nearby nursery, and headed for the shops. Today, a man who looked like an amoebic Charles Manson opened a brief case full of computer games and booked himself onto work station number 7 for five hours, as a harassed member of staff tried to explain to an itinerant, wild-eyed psychopath that the world wasn’t perfect, and he might have to take no for an answer.

This place was reputedly the public library.


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