My clothes still fit, and my ear holes haven’t closed up, small good things. I do sometimes wear earrings for Zoom meetings, and I wore some yesterday when I went back to work for the first time, processing library materials in a closed library. Lots of hand-washing, careful use of three disinfectant wipes (for door and cart handles, surfaces), and judicious mask wearing. It felt good to see people—the few who were there, only four in the building at all, I think, plus some construction workers renovating the bathrooms, but I didn’t actually see them; I did see the smaller music collection, reduced to make room for a new accessible bathroom. A pang, but 1) what’s done is done 2) many people get their music in other ways now 3) we’ll have an accessible restroom on the main floor!
It felt good to clear off my desk.
Mostly, I’ve been working at home. Learning a lot, shifting to some tasks that are already in my wheelhouse (as a reader, writer, and editor), and wondering if and how my library job might change accordingly. All the articles I’m reading about libraries and workplaces re-opening do suggest that, since there is no return to the “normal” of before, we might consider who can still work from home and how to re-structure workplaces for health safety, privacy, and fewer shared work stations. Sigh, more like the cubicles of an earlier era. Not to mention the possible health scanning devices we might need to walk through, like metal detectors but taking our temperatures…
Science fiction that isn’t fiction. Of course, the great science fiction writers have always been writing about real science, often predictive science. I was reminding my folks that zombie movies begin with a virus, a virus that wants to live, and so it is very contagious.
On Wednesday (I think?) I was describing the plot of the movie Children of Men to my mom. (I still need to read the book, by P.D. James, no doubt as an ebook, under the circumstances. Even though I went back to the library, I am not checking out any physical materials till our policy is in place for that!) Pollution or something has reduced human fertility, and yet there may be a baby, there may be a safe place to raise a baby!! Oddly, this has been a go-to movie for me at times. Like The Fifth Element, which I also watched again recently, it shows me decent people acting decently alongside those who don’t in a scary, chaotic world with aspects of regular life and its ironic excesses despite the general dystopia of it all.
“What happens?” my mom asked, wanting some hope at the end. I hadn’t wanted to spoil the ending, but she needed the hope, which I could and couldn’t give her, because of the delicate, watery nature of the ending, but I could stress the big boat of rescue coming near.
This is a Blue Monday in the blog, even though it's Friday. Some weeks, it feels like Monday all the way to Wednesday, when it starts feeling like the Friday that will never come. There are things I am saying to myself these days, in words in my head that I’m not writing down—not here, not in my private diary, not in poems. They are ongoing. They come while I am walking or working, they interrupt my reading. They are mixed—like life. They have hope and fear and despair, darkness and light. I don’t know if I will ever write them down.