It’s like trying to eat roast beef with a plastic spoon. Like designing a book under water with no air supply. Or carrying cranberry juice in a construction-paper basket woven for a grade-school project. My school was tiny, with fourteen classrooms and a library in the basement, down a narrow hallway, steep cement stairs, painted some dark color, gray or muddy green, where all the girls in your class lined up while waiting to use the girls’ room.
It was weird and scary. More so when Taffy got busted by an angry teacher as my friend and next-door neighbor was scratching ‘o’ at the end of ‘hell’ written on the old plaster wall. The thick old smooth kind of wall that was cool to the touch, even toward summer. I saw the whole thing. It was a civic-minded gesture. The teacher did not believe her.
The librarian was really nice. Were there windows? Maybe high up near the ceiling. It always seemed kind of shadowy. We were allowed to browse through the stacks and choose what we wanted to read. The book I remember most vividly had a story about a woman who spun her skin off every night and danced around as a skeleton, then rewove her skin back on before morning. I believe her husband spied her doing this at some point, though I don’t remember what the consequences were. The story was illustrated. With a full-page drawing.
This is a mood piece. But I can’t pinpoint the mood. Weary. Not particularly coherent. Trying to sort through hundreds of images for one original scan that I am sure is archived but can’t remember the name. Ay dios mio mon dieux, as I sometimes am driven to say, both Spanish and French in probably really bad accents.
Maybe I’m just bouncing off the clash of present and past.
Three of the images coming up are from an angsty collage about office procedures. They feature a photocopied photograph of a board of directors, most likely taken in the early ’70s. No idea what the company was. There’s only one woman. She must have been tiny. She’s standing on a stair step. She’s the Patron Saint of Office Procedures and I both despise and adore her.
It has been raining all day. But just before sunset, the sky turned pale blue and the clouds, not too many, were pink, orange and white.
It’s like finding the file after a really long search. Like the first day of August, and on the second, there will be a full moon.