Thursday, September 24, 2009


I bought my dog a bag of rawhides, which he loves. Once he has one, he will spend an hour trying to hide it somewhere in the house, and he is so intense about burying it deep in some crack or crevice that he doesn’t even realize he’s scratched up his snout trying to get it there. Often the black on his nose rubs off and I tell him if he doesn’t calm down and bury more gently, I’m going to have to take a Sharpie and fill in the missing black on his nose. He looks up at me with those big brown eyes that I cannot resist and I end up kissing that missing black spot instead.

This time he somehow managed to scratch off a spot of black on the top of his nose in the shape of a heart.

So I obviously have to kiss it whenever I see him. And sometimes I tackle him on the couch, pin him down, and plant kisses all over his face. He doesn’t even resist me anymore. I swear I see his eyes rolling. He is SOO my dog.

* * *

While I’m uploading pics, I might as well bitch about the ridiculous tan I have on my feet from my Teva sandals. I did a lot of walking outdoors this summer and had them on everyday, so clearly I would develop a deep Teva tan. Now that summer is mostly over, save for a few humid days in the 70s as we approach my favorite season, my feet look totally absurd. Do they make makeup for your feet? I feel like I need some.

* * *

A boy almost as tall as me approached the desk today and said he needed a reservation to use a computer, so I walked him to the reservation station to show him how to go about this on his own, but his card was rejected.

Me: Are you under 14?

Boy (snottily): NO.

Me: How old are you?

Boy (stilly snotty): I’m 11!

9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 11. Yes. That’s how it goes.

* * *

There’s an old man who frequents the library, and we call him The Booktalker. He waves his hands wildly and talks in jibberish while reading books or passing other people, scaring patrons. However, he’s harmless.

Since my desk faces the window that looks out on the street, I saw him walking toward the library and announced to my coworker that The Booktalker was here. We could hear him shouting at no one from inside our office. As a school bus drove by, he turned and gave a heil Hitler sign multiple times, mumbled something in a foreign language, and continued toward the library. I wondered aloud what his background was. I’m sure it’s fascinating. I also wondered if he’s always been like this or was he once a functional man.

He stayed in the library all day and evening, and when Arms showed up to work, he asked if The Booktalker was behaving today. I said yes, though we’d already received a few complaints about him. He freaks people out, but he doesn’t do anything wrong.

Arms: You know, I had to have words with him one day and walk him out of the building to the end of the property and tell him to go home.

Me: You did? I didn’t know he even understood what we say.

Arms: Well, I don’t know that he understood what I said. I found him in the back yelling at the plant, and when I asked him if there was something I could do to help him, he started pointing at the plant, saying it was a little Russian boy and they were going to kill the boy and make him watch.

Me: *gasp*

Arms: Then he started talking in Russian and I walked him right out of the building.

Me: That man has probably seen things in his life that I don’t want to know about.

Arms: I’d really like to take him out and get him drinking. Don’t you think he’d be a riot drunk?

No. He seems drunk when he’s stone cold sober. Who knows what alcohol would do?

My coworker piped up and suggested that if he had a few drinks, he might suddenly become a refined gentleman, pontificating on politics and the like.

Laughs were had.

I still think this man has seen some disturbing things, and maybe his senility is a reprieve from his reality. Except, of course, when a plant reminds him of an atrocity he witnessed. Or when he gives a Nazi salute to a passing school bus.

Who IS this man and what is his story? It bothers me. What aspect of world history has he been a part of that I have only read about? I’ll probably never know.

* * *

To end on a positive note, this morning was a staff Department Head meeting, and we set up our beloved boss by telling the director to ask him what the handprint story was about.

Which he did. At the meeting. In front of all the other Department Heads.

And my boss would not tell the story. He insisted they did not want to know.

They were robbed.

It’s still one of my favorite stories. And it’s nice to know that he can tell us, but not his own peers. Which makes me wonder who his “peers” really are. And it makes me like him even more.

Which is a lot already.


Kate P said...

D.E. must feel the same way about kisses my cat does--she simply does not understand how the flat part right on the top of her head is the perfect spot for kisses.

A little self tanner might even out your interesting tanlines. . . heck, self tanner might be on clearance at the drugstore by now.

And OH MY GOSH the handprint story!!! Truth is stranger than fiction, no question. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop with my high school students. The worst thing I've seen so far is the girl who was checking out a "baby names" website with her boyfriend sitting beside her. I guess it's kinda pointless to do homework during free period if finishing the school year apparently isn't going to happen.

Anonymous said...

the booktalker is a Korean war vet. He suffers from what was called battle fatigue. He walks all over Round Lake. He once was standing in the parking lot of a store waving his hands and talking and a truck making a delivery thought he was motioning him back and the driver backed right into the wall of the store.