Well, yet another dream has come true. Not only did I fulfill my lifelong ambition of being a lunch lady, now I've landed a part-time job at a library. I waited a full two weeks before telling you in case I woke up and it was gone.
And, as libraries go, this one is the Ritz. It’s got pretty much every cookbook ever written and a huge DVD and blu ray collection. It’s brand-spanking new and might as well be a community center-library-coffee shop. I’ve had an uncanny stroke of luck, I know.
As with most of my fantastic experiences, I pause to posit a few drawbacks. Like I’m pretty sure all the women I work with double as yoga instructors in what little free time they could possibly have. I also put forward that they keep the air conditioning in the library at around 87 degrees, judging by my constant sweating. Then there’s the whole question of whether or not I use the composting toilets or do I take the stairs yet another time to use the conventional staff toilet downstairs? I’m sure you can guess my choice.
And there’s the fact that this means I sit down maybe a grand total of 23 minutes out of an eight-hour shift. This for a woman who spent 30 years sitting at least 12 hours a day. The other 12 hours I was either eating, sleeping, or drinking. I don’t even want to think about what I look like when I have to put a book on a bottom shelf. It can’t be pretty. Never mind how I look when I have to reach waaaaaay up to the top shelf, causing my shirt to rise up above my waistband revealing a sizable spare tire — likely shiny with sweat.
Despite all its pitfalls, a library job is pretty dang sweet. All those books. All those readers. All those interesting choices. I hate to say it, but already I’m noticing what books people check out. You might see some guy with a pocket protector and black socks with shorts checking out Joyce or Milton or Stephen King or James Patterson. I love that. I note this only because I’ve always wondered if the librarian stamping the due date in my book ever noticed what I was checking out. I do. Maybe I won’t in a few years. But I doubt it; I’m way too nosey.
One reason why I coveted a library job is my deep admiration for my friend Mary Bridget Swartz of Parish, New York. She worked as librarian at the town library for what seems like 60 years. And it very well might be. Bridget recently retired but I’m sure, also being the town detective, that she’s got her hand on the pulse of that old brick library. She even made it through the computerization of the Dewey Decimal System. Those folksy little wooden drawers are long gone my friends.
Anyway, me and Debbie Patterson used to walk every morning when I lived in Parish. We’d go past what I think was the only duplex/condo-looking residence in the village and boy, would we make up some sweet daydreams about retiring to that modern-looking place.
“Okay, so this is the deal,” I’d say, “when we’re old, we get jobs at the Parish Public Library and you live in one side of the condo and I live in the other.”
“Hell yeah,” Deb would say. “Chuck could help us fix it all up and we could live there in our dotage.”
I agreed to the plan even though she was the only one with a husband at the time who, by the way, I liked to call Chucker Fucker. “I could drink coffee out on the deck in the morning and throw back a few beers at night. Perfect.”
I’m just telling you now, these wheels are in motion.