‘Leaving’... or is it ‘getting away from’... Janet’s was accomplished... after I suggested their need to visit... some... a... ANY... museum. As that process; leaving and suggesting museum visits... goes... it creates that “OH GOD” of departure where one IS exit clothed, IS at the door and IS... ‘I still can’t get out of here’. Everyone... knows this territory; it is a landmass and even ...a nation state. I selected a verbal dagger and stuck it in ...in order to GET OUT.
“When you do GO to a museum; ACTULLY GO and PAY admission... when WAS the last time you did that; PAID to get in to ANYTHING?... Don’t just go to the gift shop, food court and toilets. GO look at SOMETHING: Actually LOOK at SOMETHING.”
I was out.
But not before.
There’s always a ‘not before’ with Janet.
This one came ON THE WAY...across the room to the DOOR OUT. She started about some ‘meeting’ and I didn’t even slightly listen but she included the director’s name from the historical society so I did catch that AND her presentation context of “I THINK YOU WOULD LIKE COMING TO THIS”. It wasn’t until she included “MR.” (Dump) in her “LIKE COMING TO THIS” that I... Q’d.
Why “Mr. Dump” you ask?
That’s what I ASKED.
“WELL... HE’S BECOMING VERY ACTIVE LOCALLY” tonally affected to include the ream “and YOU NEVER DO ANYTHING TO HELP ANYONE EVEN THOUGH EVERYBODY KNOWS YOUR WAY, WAY, WAY BETTER THAN THAT MAN BUT YOU WON’T DO ANYTHING FOR ANYONE. EVER.”
“What time is it? The meeting? What is it?”
“Thursday morning. Ten thirty.”
“That’s past my bedtime”.
“Yeah. By that time I’ve usually found some old attic to make a nest in and go to sleep for the rest of the day”.
“OH your so FUNNY.”
“So what’s this about?”
“The historical society’s committee is going to report on their recommendations to sell their duplicate materials in order to create more SPACE in the archive building and raise funds for NEW acquisitions.”
“I’ll be there.”
“OH WONDERFUL.” said Janet who then looked at Chris... who’d been standing there saying nothing. (I think that’s what she ‘does’; THAT. She’s still doing it too. Fifteen years later. Right down to the creased blue jeans. I see her fairly often. We never speak).
Aside from the obvious; that there is a dung pile with flies on it... ‘Get your (manure) fork, boy”... SUDDENLY this traditionally dormant repository of old (LOCAL HISTORIC) paper is coming alive to ....SELL... ‘duplicates’? With a “Mr.” ‘DUMP’ in attendance? YEAH I’M SO SMART to have figured THAT ONE OUT... huh. Well... not so smart at all, actually. Sometimes there are powers-that-be that are SOOOO powerful that NOBODY can figure them out... but ARE going along with the... CHANGE... ‘anyway’.
First let me clear up my smoke alarm going off over Mr. Dump. Like; I want to take the batteries out of the smoke alarm? HOW ABOUT JUST CHUCK the damn thing outside into the... spring rain? I MEAN... on the smoke alarm chucking... MY GOD DAMN HOUSE was built TWO HUNDRED AND SEVENTY YEARS AGO ...and I gotta ‘install’ that flying saucer of battery operated plastic ‘that beeps’...IN... a colonial homestead that has ‘stood there’ since... the original settlers had to ‘stood inside’ and PEER OUT the door before going out to see... if a PACK OF WOLVES was waiting to EAT THEM? Same difference here with Mr. Dump; the historical society needs a dung pile that beeps in order to ‘SELL’ “DUPLICATES”? LIKE: DUPLICATES OF WHAT? “THROW THE GUY OUT!” is what I say.
Meanwhile... on the Dump and Crap Pile rumination-by-I; about those ruminations taking place... I HAD ‘made progress’.... a THE PROGRESS of... being a genius that I am... denoting that Crap Pile... actually has a full time ‘real job’ that has nothing to do with antiquarian trade or rare book (‘old paper’) ANYTHING... that he... HAS TO BE AT ALL THE TIME. Therefore; ‘Good bye’.
AND, genius continuing... that (Mr.) DUMP does NOT have, it appears ANYTHING ‘else’ to DO beside... THIS? THIS IS WHAT HE DOES? He drives around in his beige-brown ‘all real leather’ Lincoln in his stupid businessman suit-with-cheesy-tie on and ...slips down his window an inch to.... ah... ‘speak with you “I’m pretty busy” IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN: “I can BANK ROLL any old PAPERS you GET, Sonny”. “WHO LEFT THE DOOR OPEN for that at this meeting?
So... like... ok: I miss a day of rest in an old New England attic in an ...old New England home ... that NO ONE... but ME has... ‘ever been in there’. What I am thinking (NOT FEELING like I usually depend on) is this SKUNK is trying to eat a lot more than all the cookies in Janet’s cookie dish...: Huh... I wonder if they’ll serve cookies there; at the meeting. DON’T WORRY: JANET WILL MAKE SOME. I wonder what they’ll serve them ‘in’. This is going to be a nightmare.
And it was.
But no one... including I... realized how big and how long lasting... a nightmare...it:
It does not (STLL ACTIVE) have anything to do with Dump. Me. The historical society. The ‘collection’. The duplicates. The meeting. The world as we knew it ‘back then’: The time on earth and in the middle earth of the rare book lands BEFORE COMPUTERS. And the self titled enigma of ‘smart’... ‘phones’ (with cameras... too).
Yeah... we sat at the meeting... with Janet’s cookies that she brought IN HER DISH (“I have more so eat as many as you want”) FROM HOME. And COFFEE. In matching historical society logo mugs... right from the gift shop INVENTORY.
“I’M GONNA DIE!”
And they are ALL ...dreadfully... DEAD... SERIOUS.
I admit FULLY that I ...it took ME... SEVERAL YEARS to ...add up what ACUTULLY happened at that meeting.
Including diarrhea from the coffee and cookies? Where do they get the water from anyway? NO: I DID NOT ‘eat or drink’. And the ‘meeting ran late’ so... ‘lunch’. I COULD HEAR my sandwich... in the truck... I didn’t know it COULD back then: TEXTING ME.
There was a diarrhea of the mouth problem as is so common at meetings such as this but... again... I didn’t realize we were ALL swimming in shit. NO ONE realized we were all... professionally in a giant new sea of SHIT that was unknown before... unless one includes the old, old, old... ways... called, traditionally... as whispered history: INDEX CARDS. That’s what was once used with “CARD CATALOGES”.
“Yeah.” Is about all I can say in hindsight. Except, of course, asking... “You want to see a picture of that on my phone?”
No one there-then knew what they were talking about from our current ‘information highway’ (a displaced term too) vantage; ...what do we call our ‘current’... position? YEAH even I was like... when asked... giving out an internationally recognized hand gesture as my then current e-mail address. AND I KNEW already that “libraries” were ‘on top of this’. I mean I DID. It’s just what ‘this’ was. Is.
But not Mr. Dump. He parked that Lincoln of his right in the middle of the table.
He, speaking repeatedly with his mouth full of cookie... explained to everyone... as soon as it became ...dreadfully clear... the meeting was NOT about “SELLING”... “DUPLICATES”... that there is this new thing called a scanner that ... from Dump’s position... makes copies of EVERY PIECE OF PAPER... “you want” and that “IMAGE” can be “STORED” in a “LIBRARY” so one may “LOOK AT IT” on a computer (that; the ‘a computer’ was sort of down played) “ANYTIME... ANYWHERE...” and “HOW EVER” .... “YOU”.... “WANT” (Does one, today, remember one’s first contact with the EUPHORIA of the information highway?). I rode into town with everyone else in the room.
Then Dump proved... to his satisfaction... that once “scanned” (the word of that day) one no longer “needs” to “KEEP” the ...original old piece of paper just scanned... SO... one may, “WELL MAYBE DEPENDING ON SPACE” “requirements” and “fiscal needs” (I knew right off those words were the wise words of an old owl of an ‘old paper’... financial advisor. That last was a new boy on the street at that meeting’s date but... has become an ever more ‘mandatory’ ‘to consult’... NOW). I was somewhat ‘steady’ with all this dominos-lined-up (to fall?) from Dump. He’s a fine and well intentioned man just trying to help. Little did any of us know that the ‘old’ card catalog “housing” the society’s collection... would be fully “SCANNED” and then... with the old cards still in the drawers... sold... on the third day “everything is HALF OFF or MAKE AN OFFER” annual during each summer historical society’s “benefit” “SALE” ...only a few years later. To someone.
“IT’S GOING TO BE WONDERFUL!” Janet ...tells me.
This meeting-of-the-scanner was a kick off of the last fifteen years?
Of my future with ALL of these ‘cast of characters’?
OF the Savage Estate...
Is this, that day fifteen years ago... a new way of New England... “pitched” and ‘turned up side down?” (Part Six [A] and ever after)
And I’ve stood right in the middle of that pitching the whole time.