I went to Puddingstone because i haven’t seen Diane in ages. Of course i keep forgetting that the new hours are close @ 6 Tuesday-Thursday. I got to talk to her for a bit, though. Most all her staff is taking a leave of absence, so she’s going to be in a lot, “getting reacquainted with the store.” For now she seems reasonably happy about it, but she practically lived in the store last summer and that wasn’t good. She needs to spend some time at home and stuff. The store seems less chaotic, though, and some of the crazier people have vanished, and she seems more in/under control in general. I wouldn’t mind putting in some hours, though. Too bad Joe’s not home this summer. I think he loves that store more than anyone except Diane. Unrelatedly, Diane’s gotten totally hooked on Buffy. Her tenant watches it, so she watches the FX reruns. She just saw “School Hard” and “Inca Mummy Girl.”. She loves Spike and thinks, “Why don’t Willow and Xander get together?”
I went to the library since it was on my way home and i knew Jane was working and i never really see Jane anymore because she’s always busy working, summer reading program and all. (When it’s less busy i can usually go over to the Children’s Department and hang out a bit on my break.) I talked to her a bit and then watched the desk while she went in the back to do some craft stuff. I turned the monitor of one of the computers on for a little girl and signed up a little boy for the summer reading program. Then all i did was sit on the computer and read LJ because no one else needed anything. Yay.
Jane was saying the staff used to be very cohesive but ever since the move it’s been very cliquey. It’s been bad in general, but it’s been really hard for Michele. I keep telling her she’s wonderful and can’t retire, but recently she’s seemed at the end of her rope, just sick of taking everyone’s shit, and honestly i think maybe she should retire. It seems like everyone recently has been talking about how they’ve been here for umpteen years and they’re sick of taking everyone’s shit. And even though i don’t work all that much and am so not involved in office politics, even i can’t help but notice the tension between departments. I was telling Jane that i hate this because i love the majority of the people who work here. She cut in to say that her daughter Julie had the same problem, that for her whole life she was an A student, or something like that, and now she’s not (because she’s not in school anymore) so she felt like she wasn’t anything anymore and Jane said you have to develop the other parts of your personality. I said that wasn’t actually where i was going with it, that actually i was going to say that i really love so many of the people who work here, so it hurts to see them hurting, but she made a really good point. The library is my one safe, comfortable place i can come back to. My church and high school are no longer mine, and being in my house just reminds me of how much i miss about Smith. I never missed my family, but the rare times i was homesick i was homesick for the library. Everyone’s retiring at the schools. My church stopped feeling like mine when a lot of the older people (who constituted what i thought of “mine” about the church) left -- and that was not a happy time, let me tell you. I’ve drifted away from so many friends, most of whom i’m not bothered by but some of whom i miss. Everything’s changing, everyone’s leaving, and even my second home (the library) is not staying the same. Jane said that one would think change would be easier at my age, but it’s not because at her age you’ve been through changes and you’ve survived, but at my age this is everything you’ve known your whole life that’s changing. That’s a really good, point. Plus, Norwood is very much a “yes you can come home again” kind of town, which makes it even harder to watch all these things change. Back when i was sure i wanted to come back and teach high school English here it upset me that all these teachers i love won’t be here when i come back. Then i decided librarian was what i was most interested in doing, and was certain i would come back here and work. The idea of starting over after college is scary, though on the other hand it’s somewhat freeing to have no ties to this town, to be able to settle down anywhere, to move anywhere, to look for a job anywhere, and not feel pulled back to this town. And yes, i know i have plenty of time before i really have to worry about this.
(Oh, and i saw Chris Dalton when i was coming back from doing the laundry with Grandma. I haven’t seen him since we graduated. He called to me from across the street but i didn’t even realize he was yelling to me. Thankfully, my grandma asked if he was one of my friends, so i turned to look. He said he’s going to Toronto tomorrow, gonna be a DJ. That’s what he wanted to do, DJ and write. I wish we had become better friends. I think i’m going to write him a letter later this summer -- i assume his parents will forward his mail.)