November 22, 2008

Week in Reviewership

Well, as a week it was one. That much I can say. The sun officially checked out and winter came in screaming like a lunatic: “Yes, yes, I can see you’re here. Welcome!” But the winterly embrace was a bit too effusive for my taste.

I found that huge windowic privacy in the cafeteria after-hours and punched up the Kindle and “read long” from a Cardinal Ratzinger speech given in ’85 predicting a global meltdown based on an ethical breakdown. Followed by a long talk given by Cardinal Stafford on the fight against the culture of death that concluded with a moving rendition of Christ.

The Amazon Kindle seems a sort of magic, a personal genie serving up of whatever tasty prose or poetry I might want. I still dream of those cast-iron seats in the sun that perch along a frequent lunchtime walk and which call out: “sit in me and read awhile!”. The spot exudes a Parisian Left Bank hoariness.

I am scrupulous about Kindle housekeeping in the form of reading the short clips from blogs and links first such that sometimes don’t have time for what I’d originally planned to read. Today I’d had visions of Bill Buckley dancing in my head. I was looking forward to reading something whimsical and witty and light-hearted on this cold November day, specifically his anthology of responses to letters titled “Cancel Your Own G-D Subscription”. I’ve a hankering now and then for the resoluteness of a Buckley or a Kathy Shaidle or a Florence King. They are “comfort food” for the conservative. The other is always an attraction and though the aforementioned are similar to me politically they are my opposites in their confidence and lack of self-reproach.

In the cafĂ© I fell into that all-too-rare delirium of noticing my surroundings. The bright effusion of Ohio State flags festively draping the cafeteria denote the local equivalent of Christmas, aka “Michigan weekend”. The workers go about their laborious tasks even now that the cafe is closed. I see a cashier pushing a cart topped high with bottles of soft drinks. She is the most interesting cashier to me mostly because she is the least interesting. She seems the most simple, always robotically smiling and saying the same thing, “how are you doing today?”. It would seem to me no one could ever find fault with her, and I do admit part of my curiosity is that once I believe she was wearing a scapular. I see her daily yet she’s as foreign as the most obscure laborer in distant China. There’s a sense of satisfaction in her work that isn’t present in the other workers. You get the impression she thinks this is a good gig.

Not too long after she’s walking out of the cafe wearing a huge novelty hat of some sort presumably because it’s Michigan weekend. It's like Mardi Gras North.

Two other workers, not cashiers but workers cleaning the tables, are carrying on a very loud, though interesting, conversation:
“I want to be buried in a pet cemetery.”

”No you don’t!”

“I want to be buried next to the dogs and kitties.”

“No you want to be buried in a people’s cemetery, not in an animal cemetery. Your mother would want you to be buried in a people’s cemetery!”
Her interlocutor remained unconvinced.

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