Not Too Old

April 17, 2012 § 9 Comments

After Herself filed out of his office with our supervisor, I was left to take a bit more thrashing from the big boss. He said to me after the door closed again, “You are too old for this.” I pitied him at that moment: Had he ever felt for someone the way I felt for her? Had he forgotten or long since chalked up love to an immature impetuousity? a phase to go through between this age and that age? Then you get married, make a go of “reality”–grow up. I’m not too old for anything, including making a fool of myself. Did his wife tell him he was too old for that affair? I’m not a child–the birth of my children saw to that–and my needs are not childish. Neither is there a statute of limitations on acquiring them. Am I too old to make a mistake? to be frustrated and to express it? to apologize? Too old for any of that is old enough to be dead. I have burdens enough. Why carry a headstone around?

Rare Is the Balance

March 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

Friends are hard to make and harder to keep. Especially if you define them as strictly as I do.  I have three friends. I can talk to them about anything. I can ask of them any favor and feel neither sheepish nor guilty about it. I trust they would do the same of me. I trust that they care for my well-being as I care for theirs. This might sound like family, but with family it is an obligation, whether willing or not. The bond is not of one’s choosing. I’m excited to find someone to whom I feel I can relate. It usually doesn’t last–the excitement or the relationship. Neither of us can accept all we need to accept of the other. We can relate to certain interests but cannot reserve critical judgement of the other. The last I heard of one such acquaintance was, “Don’t judge me,” after I couldn’t agree that some black people looked like apes. Some patrons I see and talk to quite often at the library, but where are they outside that world? I live far from where I work. It is not my community. Connection is about what we are willing to  receive.  We start with what we give, hoping another will receive it and reciprocate. Rare is the balance.

I Need a Disease

January 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

Not all the library’s stories are in the stacks. Like any workplace, we have our dramas: The son in South America; moving parents into assisted living; going deaf in an ear thanks to a viral attack; deaths; breakups. A lot of sympathy, condolence and concern. Mine was not such a story. Mine was entertainment to coworkers, so I was not disturbed with anyone’s concern lest the tension of the narrative be dissipated. I was on my own. Herself, being the victim of my attentions, was given the commensurate sympathy. Every heroine needs her dastard. All the attention this dastard got was censure. I need a disease.

My Importance to Nil

January 12, 2012 § 2 Comments

With all the respect I’ve lost, I still like my job.  I know where I stand there, but that’s in a humble place, and it’s uncomfortable. I don’t want to live in that shame anymore–at least not all of it. I will be a while sloughing it off. I get cynical and aloof, but I’m just feeling lonely. Self-pity, envy, missed opportunities for compassion: I lie low then. That’s most of the time. The rest of the time, I’m nice, almost talkative. I can reach out a little ways. Whichever person I am on a given day, I like what I do, assisting the free dissemination of information to people who still read. My employer does not have that same commitment. I hope I am gone before the county has completed turning its library system into a chain of bookstores and proportionally reducing my salary to a wage and  my importance to nil.

My Fault

January 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s my fault I work in a library. It’s what I wanted. It’s not my fault I fell in love there, with a coworker, though I wanted that, too. If it was just a fixation after all, then I guess I could be blamed. Herself leaving had something to do with me, too, and as I doubt she would give me the credit for it that my malicious side would claim, we’ll call it blame and leave it at that. I was never one of the Golden Ones, with the work ethic of an automaton and timidity of a virgin whore–the kind of employee a boss hardly has to throw his weight against to intimidate–so it was just a matter of time before I pissed off someone. Who knew that love would be that deadly straw? Maybe me, if I’d had a thought of what a public announcement of my feelings would mean to her. My fault.

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