Monday, April 8, 2013

Living to be a Hundred – Robert Boswell



Walking over to the coffee vending machine just a few moments ago with a worn dollar bill in my hand, questioning whether or not the bill will be accepted by the electronic eye, I find that the machine is out of order.  It’s going to be a long day.
   
As I write this I have about 13 hours to go in my eighth day of the week.   I work an over night shift at a university library providing reference support to students amped up on Adderall, caffeine and Ritalin.
  
An unusual number of Asian students also occupy my space and the only reason why I can figure that they are here is that the library provides them with a comfortable place to chat with their friends back in their native countries.  More students are starting to filter into the library now as the sun rises and classes will soon start.
I have found myself in a position in life where my daily work is quite comfortable.  I suppose the only danger I face is any damage that may be a result of sitting too much for too long, breathing conditioned air or the damage that the computers I face all day could be inflicting.  My work life is pretty cushy.

Rarely…do I mean…almost never do I come into conflict with people.  In fact, I wonder at times if I have lost my ability to fight because of my lack of exposure to arguments.  My opinions are requested and I do need to make decisions but when I do, they are rarely challenged and often valued.

What has afforded me such a life?  I am fortunate.

I worked construction for a few weeks one summer during summer school.  It was part time work and I didn’t put in the 40+ hours a week the other workers labored.  It was simple mindless work – demolition.  I am pretty sure I wrote of this experience once before in this journal.  

I enjoyed the work, but I would finish the day sore knowing that the next morning, if I had to work, I would be waking sore and that the day would be made a little more difficult.
 
A look back.
April 2012 I was reading – Introduction to The Best American Short Stories 1988 edited by Mark Helprin
April 2011 I was reading – Introduction to the Best American Short Stories 1986 edited by Raymond Carver
April 2010 I was reading – Coming Over by Edith Milton from BASS 1982
April 2009 I was reading – The Introduction to the Best American Short Stories 1979 by Ted Solotaroff
April 2008 I was – I had not yet begun reading…I was 2 months away from thinking about beginning.

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