You push and I'll pelt.'
They so smote the garden bed
That the flowers actually knelt,
And lay lodged--though not dead.
I know how the flowers felt.”
― Robert Frost
As summer reading starts proper, I am at a loss. The last two weeks have been both demanding and absent of my attention, roller coasters that twist around back to the beginning and start over each day. I am overly dramatic and at the same time really fucking annoyed. Let me fill you in on the last week.
July 2 - Ava Devillis’s First Day - Conversation.
“I don’t see why I have to work so much,” Ava said, “I have to get started on establishing the program. Carol Anne said so.”
“We all cover 40 hours a week, Ava, and you can do your planning from the circulation desk. Did Dave show you how the software works?” I said.
“Yes, but Carol Anne said the most important thing about this job was the summer reading program and I should not have to do so much of this desk work.”
“Ava, Betty is still on medical leave. I know this is jumping in the deep end, but we all have to do more to compensate. I need you to back up on the desk and work the extra night-”
“About that,” Ava said, “I’m not doing that. I can only work one night a week. I have a son.”
At that moment something broke in me.
“Ms. Devillis,” I said, “Betty is out and we do not know when she is coming back. Dave is working to get the new computer lab up. I have to do all the normal librarian duties because you have no formal training as a librarian yet applied and took this job anyway. I do not have the time to train you beyond very basic tasks and Carol Anne Kinney may have nominated and hired you but does not run the day to day operations of this library. Now, either work the circulation desk or go home. Either way you are helping this library.”
I could see her lip quivering. I just walked away.
July 3 - Rats - Summary
We found Skinner Punk’s missing cake in the cubbard below the sink. The rats also found the cake. During storytime.
July 4 - Thank Christmas, the library is closed for holiday.
July 5 - Darling McCraw’s first day - Conversation
“Did you get all that, the shelving and the software and everything?” I said.
“Yes,” he said.
“No, seems pretty straight forward.”
“Good, can you please give Ms. Devillis a break from the circ desk?”
July 6 - Natalie brings me lunch - Conversation
Natalie and I sit in my office eating sandwiches, chips and cokes that Natalie brought.
“I had fun the other night,” Natalie said.
“So did I,” I said, “but you didn’t have to bring lunch. I could have met you somewhere.”
“After what you told me the other day? This place looks like a zoo. What are those two glaring at each other about?”
“Ava and Dave? Lover’s tension.”
Natalie laughed. I like when she laughs.
“No, really,” she said.
“Apparently, Ava found a troupe of circus folk to work some events on summer reading. Dave’s against it.”
“Dave’s against summer reading?”
“Probably, but mostly circuses. Circusi? Anyway, just hates them.”
“Ah,” she said, “How’s the big Fire Day celebration coming along?”
“Far as I know, fine. The Fire Department’s going to be here to give a demonstation and let kids ride in the truck. One of the circus folk is going to do fire eating. Everything seems okay. I’m letting Ava handle most of it, kicking off summer reading and all.”
“I thought it would be more important to you, what with it being the library’s history and all.”
“Eh,” I said, “I share Mom’s view. Celebrating the day the library burned down almost a hundred years ago feels kinda perverse. But, tradition, you know?”
“Yeah, I guess. So you want to go to a movie tonight? I hear the new Spider-man’s good.”
“I knew there was a reason I liked you.”
July 9 - Fire Day aftermath
So here we are, up to the present. Fire Day was actually fun this year. I still stand by that celebrating destruction is odd, but the town really comes out for it. The kids had a great time and we had the biggest sign up for summer reading in the last five years. Ava Devillis may be annoying, but I cannot argue with the results.
Betty came by with her son. She seems okay, if a little shaky. I told her to take her time and come back when she needed to, but she seems insistent on being here for summer reading. When she came in this morning I was relieved.
The night ended with leftover July 4th fireworks exploding against a backdrop of heavy rain clouds. Natalie and I watched it from a blanket in the town square.
Today has been uneventful. Children run through the stacks and Ava started her daily story time instead of just Tuesday and Thursday.
I am keeping my fingers crossed.