by Patrick Clapp
There is a bit in Catch-22 by Joseph Heller where a character checks off a list of items as either black-eyes or feathers-in-my-cap. My decision to pursue the next chapter of my life in a town other than that wonderful post-collegiate way station called Boston weighed heavily on my mind for months following the breakup with my last girlfriend and preceding the arrival of my latest diploma. The mental tallies I made under the headings of here and there included such line items as
Here: good radio; There: ?
Here: good beer; There: great brewer
Here: close friends; There: close friend
But the clinchers, when all the feathers and eyes were scratched away in a pencil pushing war of attrition, the clinchers were
Here: everything reminds me of her; There: not so much, and
Here: dejection, rejection, and forced injection of a bulging over-burdened job and housing market; There: the coolest job I have ever been offered twice.
That's right, they offered the job twice. I turned them down the first time because I was still thinking of lists and Heres and Theres and it wasn't quite what I thought I wanted. Pros and Cons of it all. I had a mildly relaxing Christmas break because I essentially told all of the offers coming in, no thank you. That was empowering and frightening at the same time. So, they took a couple months to rebuild the job description and lo and behold when they went a-looking the second time, I had thrown out my lists and settled on There.
That extended what has become a near hiatus from bohemian pursuits of creative writing into an actual hiatus of creative output. I could try to say that I was taking a break until I received my diploma, and then mutter that the physical diploma was not mailed until last week. I could say that I had other things going on, which would be true. But, as has been pointed out to me recently, it takes all of two seconds to hit reply to an email. That is true as well. But, I would like to think that I can write more than just a wordy page or two on why I just took the last six months off...and a curious thing happened. The more I did not write, the harder it was to start writing. I failed miserably at my second book. No focus, no direction, I completely chucked the idea I thought I was going to go with about two days before the writing frenzy started, and my partner in crime displayed and catered to the myriad of procrastinating faults mirrored within myself.
So now, the summer upon me, and myself now located miles from the Fens which gave me such joy this time last year, I take up the keyboard once more and realize that I do have some things to say. I love my job, the radio here sucks, I am trying to write short fiction and it is harder than I remember, and I remember how good it feels not to have homework. Oh, and a funny title for a topical article would be 'Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep' but I do not want to write about heart-attack victims and comeuppance just yet.
How's by you?
Oh, and just to give this a bit of substance and to reinforce that I am now a professional corporate librarian, feast your mice on these treats which have migrated to my favorites folder sometime in the past few months:
Lost English Words. This is far too cool for school. Enjoy.
Bawdy Drinking Songs. I would love to remember why I saved this. I mean, obviously, but who or what drove me to it? Also, give this one a minute to get to the right place.
The Librarian's Internet Index. More on the hidden web another day, I promise.