"The Godfather sends you this Ham, as a Token of his Friendship..."

I love working at the Library. One finds inspiring objects and subjects quite accidentally, yet inevitably so potent as to move the firmament of your tepid and poorly-lit world, if the conditions are right.

Some of the Library's books I'm reading (I'll update the Amazon links to your left later):

  • East, by Edith Pattou
  • The Land Where the Blues Began, by Alan Lomax
  • Safe Area: Gorazde, by Joe Sacco
  • Red Oleanders, by Rabindranath Tagore
  • Topdog/Underdog, by Suzan-Lori Parks
  • In Patagonia, by Bruce Chatwin
  • Elephas Maximas--A Portrait of the Indian Elephant, by Stephen Alter

Once again the sunlight is brilliant right now, here in Portland. I've been busy as usual these past several days, after having returned from the high-level holiday summit conference with the great powers in my mother's side of the family, In Canada. Slipping back into the Library's On-Call System (where the workshifts are, unfortunately, few and far between). But this is Okay, ultimately, because I'm also delivering, of all things, Honey-Baked Hams on behalf of my father (who, in addition to running his own mortgage company, probably launders money or smuggles coke to pay for the beach house he just built--and the coke theory would explain the unnaturally addictive properties of these Hams I'm delivering--I have no idea what kind of connection he has with the Ham people except that every year he gets 20 hams, (hush-money? The take from the bookies? Pork farmers paying for protection?), and the tradition is that I go around the city dropping off these 10 lb. hams at relatives' and "clients'" doorsteps.

[Picture shady, gloomy suburban ranch-style houses, ill-kept lawns, neighbors who walk quickly past the address in question. My beat-up Saturn pulls up to the curb and shades are quickly drawn, cigarettes stubbed out, children bundled away to the backroom and sternly hushed. Boots crunching on gravel. Doorbell rings, breaking the cold suburban silence. Long moment passes, and then the stranger drops a battered, stained cardboard Honeybaked Ham box onto the fading doormat, "Happy Holidays" scrawled hurriedly on the note. Boots crunching quickly back, and then the Saturn squeals away.]

Which probably means that if the Feds have some sort of sting or surveillance operation on my Dad, they'll probably nail me as accessory to wire fraud or tax evasion or something, and the only thing preventing me from turning states' evidence is the fact that the Susi family is EVERYWHERE, and we have long memories, and besides, Dad pays for stuff all the time so really the Feds can go stuff themselves because I Ain't No Rat.)

So. Yeah, I love working at the Library.

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