Thursday, June 10, 2010


Our man down in the field appears a tad distressed, does he not?

Oh, I should think he would, wouldn't you? I mean, here he is, looking about for a pen, and what-ho, here's a pen, right here on the old pointer! That'd be enough to stress just about anybody out, what?

Decidedly. Has there been any word as to when they'll have him relieved?

Not as such, Old Fellow. Not as such.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


For the want of a pen, the kingdom is lost.
For the want of a pen, the kingdom is lost.
For the want of a pen, the kingdom is lost.

That's "for the want of a nail, the kingdom was lost."

No, it's "the nail is mightier than the sword."

How do you figure?

Well, swords cut things in half, and nails keep things together such that you can build things.

The nail is mightier than the sword.
The nail is mightier than the sword.
The nail is mightier than the sword.

Works for me, mate!
So glad, Old Fellow!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


He is about to leave the library and go on a pen hunting excursion to the pharmacy (and he now remembers that he has been called 'hunter') when he looks down at his hand. It is the same hand that had been severed. He now sees that it has been transformed, slightly. The index finger has become a quill pen. He does what anyone would do with this discovery. He stares at the pen/finger. His mind cracks a little. Or, it should be said, a little more. He backs against the circulation desk and sinks down into a sitting position on the floor. He says to himself:
I have lost it.
And then he has another thought:
I have not lost it, although I wish I had. There is insanity all around me. I have been plunged into insanity, it has enveloped me and saturated me. And yet it has not yet become me.
I wish it would.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Won't even give him a pencil, eh? Off to a great start, here. He looks around the circulation desk and sees nothing that he can use to fill out the form. What kind of library circulation desk has no pencils or pens? He scans the large main room of the library. There are rows of tables with lamps on them and chairs around them. There are maybe half a dozen patrons at the tables, all deep in study, from the looks of things. But not a single one is using a writing instrument.
Damn it all, he says.
Daisy hears him and raises her voice ever so slightly from her conversation with Rowena. You might try down the street. There's a pharmacy. You could buy a pen, there.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


She calls over a stout, middle-aged eastern-European looking woman. "Daisy," says Rowena.
"Hello, Rowena," says Daisy.
"I just paid a visit to your father. He says you may have an opening at the library. My friend Alex, here, needs a job."
Daisy looks at Alex with a severe expression on her face. Then, she turns to Rowena.
"My father. He sent you? About him?"
"Indeed he did, Daisy," says Rowena.
Daisy looks at Alex, again. She reaches under the desk and takes out a folder. She opens the folder and takes out a sheet of paper that says "Employment Application." She hands the sheet to Alex. "Fill this out," she says. Alex takes the sheet. Daisy and Rowena then walk to the other end of the desk and begin to talk to each other. He cannot hear them, fully.
Alex begins to fumble around in his pockets. To no avail. "Do you have a pen?" he calls out to Daisy.
"Sure don't," says Daisy. She and Rowena continue their conversation.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


They get back in the car. She waves at Jimmy who does not wave back. Jimmy continues to watch him.
"Show me whatever it is you have to show me, Rowena. I am beyond sick of this shit."
"I would imagine you've been beyond sick of this shit since you woke up."
"I can't remember having slept."
"You haven't in a very long time."
"Does that explain any of this? You told me I wasn't dreaming, and you told me that I was no where in particular that was different from the life I had been living."
"Yes, I said that. In so many words."
"Your just said 'since I woke up'. When did I wake up?"
"Just shut up for a bit, Alex, honey, will you? And follow Jimmy's advice."
They drive to the library, park the car, and go inside. It isn't the memory library he has placed in an important realm in his mind. It is not The Library. But it is the library he had gone to many times when he was growing up there. The place is over air-conditioned, no matter the season. He grew up associating the memories he had of this library with cold.
They approach the circulation desk.
"You need to find a job," she says.

Friday, June 4, 2010


"Jimmy," she says. "Your daughter works at the library, right?"
"Why, yes ma'am, she does! She's worked in town for, what twenty-some years, now. Started out one of the first full-time folk. Why do you ask?"
"My friend Alex is looking for a job."
Alex gives a start. But he decides to go along with this. Whatever Rowena is doing.
"Well, I don't know right off hand whether they're looking for anyone. I suppose I could put in a word for you. Tell her you came by," says Jimmy. "Better yet, why don't you go to the library and talk to her, yourself? She's there now. Will be until four or so. Meantime, you want to take some of those tomatoes over there, you're welcome to them. I wanted to sell them by today, but it looks like nobody's buying."
She reaches into her pocket, but she has no money. She turns to Alex. Alex takes out a ten and gives it to Jimmy.
Alex is surprized when the old farmer takes the bill. Especially since he has just offered to give them the old tomatoes for free.
They take the tomatoes in a paper bag Jimmy hands them, and they say their goodbyes. As they are leaving, Jimmy gives Alex a piercing look and says: "Pay attention to what this young lady shows you, Alex."

Thursday, June 3, 2010


They come to a vegetable stand along the highway. There is no one tending it.
"Martinek still has his stand," she says.
"Yes," he says.
"You and I never stopped here," she says, "did we?"
"I don't remember, Ro," he says.
She pulls over.
"Is this one of the sites you wanted me to see?"
"One of the whats?"
"One of the sites you wanted me to see. You just said you were taking me around to see the sites."
"Oh," she says. "No. This is not one of the sites."
They get out. They go up to the cart, and Rowena picks up a tomato.
"You ain't gonna find no better tomatoes," says a voice.
"Hey Jimmy," she says. "Startled me, there."
"Brought your boyfriend, didja?"
"Jimmy," she says, "you remember my friend Alex, here, don't you?"
"'Course I do," says Jimmy. Then, turning to Alex, "been gone a while, ain'tcha? Used to see you at the library."
He remembers this. Jimmy used to do groundskeeping down at the college.
"Yessir," he says.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


They drive for a while more. They drive past the naval base and the town that surrounds it. He sees that there has, indeed, been quite a lot of building since he was last there. Many more stores. The place is less country. This is a shame, he thinks. The culture of watermen and farmers is dying out. If not already dead.
After a cluster of the strip malls, they drive a stretch of highway through farmland. Flat fields of brown and green. He doesn't know the cycles of crop rotation enough to know whether it is normal at this time of year, during this season, to have an empty field. Perhaps the fields he sees are resting from having been planted in the immediate past season.
Maryland had been known for its tobacco industry, but not so much any more. This, however, he thinks, is also probably a good thing. Except, of course, for the tobacco farmers. But farmers are industrious people. They will have found another crop.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


These words are followed by a period of silence that cannot be filled by any degree of pain, rage, frustration, confusion, or other emotions born of his exasperated mind.
The silence is, therefore, undefined.
He sits next to her. He wants to ask her what it is, exactly, that she is under obligation to do and who, exactly, has placed her under obligation.
He does not ask this, however.
Nor does she say anything further in explanation.
There is nothing to say.
Because it is impossible for him, and perhaps even for her, to choose something that is proper to say.
He says nothing because he cannot bring himself to say anything because anything that he says will lead her to answer him, and any answer she gives him will checkmate him.
That is the word that comes to his mind. Checkmate.
She has blamed him, in a long ago past, for looking at all social interactions as competitions. As having winners and losers.
He has accused her of saying this to him as a means to check any further reactions on his part.
Much as when one tells you not to be defensive.
There is no response to this.