On Tuesday I was… canning! That’s right, canning tomatoes. I had enough to fill three jars (actually a lot more, but some had cracks or spots, so they’re left out for Dad to make “a concoction” with), which I know is not a lot. But I didn’t can last year, and I really wanted to. As I peeled the skins off the tomatoes and cut them into quarters, the kitchen looked like a murder scene. Red everywhere. And I was the one holding the bloodied weapon. Kind of disturbing. (Also, why does it always come back to murder mysteries with me?)
The smell of tomatoes makes me think of the beginning of fall. And fall has begun! Spring might get the reputation of bringing everything back to life, but for me it’s fall. Everything in summer is still and hot and muggy. But now everyone is home from vacation, busy with work and school and harvesting the last of the gardens. Neighbors now have to mow thier lawns with their shirts on, and the trees are going to throw confetti to celebrate. Hurrah!
So, it’s now– what?– my fourth week of working at the library. I think. It feels like I’ve been working there for ages. It also feels like I am an anthropologist studying the habits and customs of Pages. For example: the classic page dilemma. You need to sort your books, but you don’t want to do it in the middle of an aisle somewhere in the way. I discovered the perfect place to do this. It’s in the adult fiction area, where all the ends of the rows have endcaps except this one row. Thus, you can push your cart against it and not be in the way, because the aisle is wide enough for people to walk past things the width of the endcaps. Then one day I noticed that all the other A pages use the same exact spot. There has been no discussion about or sharing of this place, to my knowledge. We just all found it through our own deductions. I have also noted that there are scratch marks on the ends of the nonfiction rows, at just the places the wheels of a cart would hit them. But only the ends on the right side of the aisle have the marks. Once again, we all somehow do the same thing without knowing. It’s all very interesting.
And then I realize I have some odd habits of my own. The other day I caught myself singing as I worked. Singing very, very quietly. (The song was “Penny Lane”.) I also catch myself muttering the numbers to myself while I do nonfiction. Actually, I mutter to myself a lot. (Or maybe I’m simply still Alice, but now we’re into the train bit, and I’m conversing with the Gnat. I love that part best of all sometimes.)
And when I got home from work yesterday, there was mail for me waiting on the table: my first paycheck.
I opened it.
Me: “What!!! They took so much of my money!” (Whoever “they” are, “they” are not my friends.)
Mom: “Well, yeah, sorry about that.”
Dad: “Ha. Ha.”
Me: “They took twenty bucks toward my retirement? I’m like twelve years old! Do they really have to do that?”
Mom: “Someday you’ll be glad about it. Just let it sit there and grow.”
Me: “And what the heck, they make me pay taxes, but I can’t vote this November!” (I’m really quite miffed about that. Quite. Miffed.)
Dad: “Ha. Ha. Welcome to the rest of your life.”
Me: growl. “Well, anyway, they shouldn’t show you all this. They should just show you how much you actually get, then you’d be like Yeah! I’m rich! But instead I want to punch someone.”
Mom: “Yeah. It’s true.”
But seriously, no taxation without representation! Golly, where have we heard that one before? Hm? Oh, I don’t know, I think it was the AMERICAN REVOLUTION.