Some kind of fighter jet screamed over the camp right at lunch time and F. was so excited about it, the Blue Angels the Blue Angels the Blue Angels! Of course K. and I were outraged, my god, that this country sends these things screaming over the heads of other people’s five year olds in other parts of the world and then drops bombs on them, it’s wrong it’s so wrong. I tried to explain to F. that his pleasure was misplaced, that these planes are actually a central part of the U.S. death machine. It made him cry. I ate my salad.


I got shunted into the conference luncheon overflow room because my session was just before lunch and of course I ended up chatting forever with the librarians like you do. Plus we got into the maintenance elevator and it stopped at almost every floor on the way down. It was like a four year old got in and pushed all the buttons. I was one of four seated at a table set for eleven, which left seven uneaten pieces of cake, half lemon and half chocolate. I was riven by conflict, a desiring machine for surplus desserts, but still sick with the memory of last night’s milk-braised lamb plus a pair of mini whoopie pies. I held to just the one slice of cake, staring at a giant powerpoint slide, drinking coffee.

Oh cloffice you again. What better way home than this reheated bowl of soup, the frozen lump in the middle cooling the whole thing off after two uneven-heating turns around the technical services microwave, let me get a buttered roll while I’m at it, remember when I used to go to school here too, not just work here? And it was just exactly right to have to bolt all that food in the sliver of time between two meetings to assess the assessment reports my god.

I have had many chicken strips in my life, more chicken strips than I can count, I’m probably 48% chicken strips at this point. But I have never had chicken strips like the chicken strips I had today, in my swimsuit on the shores of Lake Washington, Mount Rainier looming, then I willed myself into the cold, cold water and swam out to a buoy, D. floated on a yellow tube, B. and I held on and bobbed and regained strength for the swim back, where I grabbed another chicken strip fast.

I ate what I could dig up from the campus coffee stop in the sliver of time between the phone meeting and the in-person meeting. They asked me in this interview this morning What challenges do you have as a librarian? Saying no, achieving balance, that’s what I said, or in shorthand, not packing a good enough lunch.

Can’t lie. The soup wasn’t enough. I wanted to swallow a buttered roll. I ate so many buttered rolls when I was taking night classes here. I was pretty much 88% buttered roll for awhile there. Now it’s just a fatty nostalgic treat. And made the soup enough. I might bring that soup again just to have a reason for a buttered roll.

The pilot came on the loudspeaker and told us to open our windows as we ate, you could see the coast of Greenland from the plane. The coast of Greenland!