Main Street, Ridgefield

Government institutions are funded by the public, which forces them to throw their doors open to the public, ALL of them, the destitute, the homeless, the mentally-ill and -challenged, those that can’t keep their heads above water in the free market. Those that would be chomped down by the sharks.


The “ghetto of Ridgefield”

I experienced this first-hand in high school, when I worked as a page in a public library. The library was in Ridgefield, Connecticut, a precipice of the free-market. Ridgefield is one of the richest communities in the US, where you’re an embarrassment if you attend a state college, where people smirked at the denizens of the middle-class condominiums in the south of town. My high school classmates called this place “the ghetto of Ridgefield.”

There hasn’t been a murder in Ridgefield for decades, but the town averages 2 suicides a year. After the Columbine shootings, Newsweek called Ridgefield Public High School the most likely town in Connecticut to suffer a school shooting.

There were only a few people in the town that didn’t ride the wave of the free market, but they made the public library their home. Many were bohemians, intellectuals. I remember one of them, a short, slight man in his forties, a voracious reader who rode his bike to the library every morning to consume literature.

Another of the free-market rejects to call the library home was Veronica, a mentally-challenged women in her thirties.

I remember her one day, distressed. She was crying, weeping, near the front desk where I was working. I didn’t know over what. One of the librarians rushed over to her, but not to comfort her. To keep her quiet.

“Shhh…shhh….it’s OK, it’s OK…” The librarian was attempting to herd her into the stairwell, where no one could hear her sounds of distress.

“Why can’t you cry here? Sometimes people just have to cry. Why can’t I cry?”

One thought on “Weeping

  1. Oh my gosh! That last “scene” is so powerful. Thank you for contextualizing the effects of the economy, privilege and wealth all within 300-400 words. I don’t know what else I should say, but I know that I really liked this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s