Friday, June 22, 2007


I’m going to write a swan song for my last day on the job. This swan has been swimming around the same pond for twenty-nine years. Think of the old duck pond at Rickey’s Hyatt House, the one with the arched bridge. Now imagine they have opened up a channel out of there, straight through the baylands towards the bay, and then you pick up your wings and maybe fly over to New England, if you’ve got the legs. And the new habitat will take getting used to. Got to figure out what to do during the snow months. Compiling new genealogy charts could take up an entire winter (see how far back you can go...). Writing that biography of Catherine Raftor, aka Kitty Clive, will then take up the next big chunk of time. Add in a few trips to Europe. And to read books and actually finish them in a timely manner. Long before they are due back at the library. I imagine I could learn to cook up some casseroles and other tasty dishes to freeze and bring out to share with wonderful spouse, who has looked on as I heated up deli items for dinner night after night, what kind of wife did he marry, anyway? These goodies would go well with his homemade soup. Some discipline would be required for the computer time, some timeouts for walks up to the top of the nearest hill. Maybe a dog would help, nipping at my heels to remind me—out, out in the world. After a suitable time I could go back to work, that’s right. Maybe get those final three quarters I need to qualify for Social Security and Medicare. At a bookstore where my skills should come in handy. Work when I want to—could you take the afternoon shift? Sounds lovely! But when those three quarters are over, maybe call it quits for awhile. Start, stop, at will. This swan is psyched. Remember the old opera story, the actor playing Lohengrin watched as the swan boat that was to take him to heaven sped across the stage and off to the other side. He paused, turned to the audience and asked “When does the next swan leave?” Seems prudent not to wait too long. Start flapping those wings!

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