Today I’m working from home. As it is on days that I work from home, this morning Drea gave me a do-to list.
“One!” she began, getting ready for work, “Clean out the fridge. If you think there’s even the slightest chance that it’s no good – get rid of it!”
I nodded the affirmative.
“And two!” she said. “Blog.”
Blog, blog, blog.
Lately I haven’t been able to think of anything to say. I still can’t. So I dug through a few of my old notebooks. And I what I found were some scrap pages of a short story I had started writing back in 2003. So that what you get today.
Several years ago the card catalog in the Paxton Index had been replaced by computers, the large wooded drawers hauled out and shiny new turquoise iMacs installed. Hundreds of thousands of index cards became casualties. Most of them were in boxes in storage but plenty were in the reading room, acting as scrap paper. Cards detailing things like “The Danson Collection 759.2 T744d”, which were once essential to the library functioning, had become pieces of paper to write notes on; obsolete scrap.
Often, Aaron would return home and unload his pockets, several of the old index cards scribbled on and mixed in with change, receipts and wrappers. His roommate would pull her hair out when she saw this.
“Look at these!” she would say. “Some of these are more than 40 years old. And you’re scribbling phone numbers on them!” She would shake her head in disbelief. “Don’t you ever feel like you’re vandalizing history?”
“Tif,” he would reply, “they’re index cards.”
Again, Tiffany would shake her head.
By the time she was 11 Tiffany had earned the nickname Tiffany “I’ll Take That” Burgher. If there was a record you didn’t want, a chair you didn’t need or a random knickknack you just didn’t care enough about to hold on to anymore, Tiffany would take it off your hands. Her bedroom included a lamp she’d found on the side of the road, dozens of posters she’d taken from local movie theaters that were going to throw them out, a blanket she’d purloined during a drunken night house sitting and several milk crates full of old National Geographics.
“I don’t see you complaining when you need to write down a phone number and it’s the only paper handy.” Aaron said, crumpling up some of the cards and throwing them into the trash.
“I’d sooner write on my hand,” Tiffany said, huffing off with the put-on air of an aristocrat.