You know what sounds great right now? Going back to bed. Yes, it does. The MSG looked so content when I left this morning, and then he’ll go to the farmer’s market without me soon, and guess where I am?

I’m at work on a Saturday, which means I am at least one of the following things: (a) undercaffeinated, (b) exhausted, © hungover, (d) grumpy. Today I am all four. But hey, at least I’m (e) alive.

On my right middle finger, I have an asymmetrical ring with a square on one side and a circle on the other. I put it on backwards this morning — the square goes on the left — and it messed me all up. Why do these little details trip me up so? I know people who wouldn’t bat an eye about it, and there I was, stopping mid-hurried-stride to turn it around. Like it matters. So strange.

I’ll catch myself evening out my shoelaces, or confining pens all one way in a certain area on my desk, arranged by color and size, and be like, “How did I turn into this person?” But the truth is, I don’t remember not being this person.

The sweaters and corduroys are out and on. This makes me terribly happy, except for the part where it’s going to be in the upper 80s inland today.

I don’t think of myself as a competitive person, but I am. I feel like I have to prove my worth to the people closest to me, while being constantly aware that no one really knows what I do, job-wise, except the people who work with me, so how can people see the importance of it, or the stress of it, or why I care about it so much?

I didn’t intend for this to become a career, but as long as I can’t make enough to live on by writing poetry, this is what I’ve got. Perhaps something more dramatic, like administering vaccinations in third-world countries, seems to be more worthwhile than working for a university library. I don’t know. I’d be horrible at helping people in that way, and I’m good at helping people in this way. It’s a very specific way, and our society laughs at and looks down on academia anymore, so I’ve got to find my own worth in it because external appreciation just isn’t going to happen.

The other day, a patron was having some difficulty with course reserves. Her professor had listed items on the syllabus that obviously were not in the library. I suggested that she email the professor. She didn’t have a university email account, so I helped her get that setup. Then there wasn’t a free computer for her to use, so I let her use mine. Then she had trouble accessing the email account, so I helped her with that. Sprinkled throughout the 30 minutes I spent with her were her words, “You’re so funny.” And I promise you I wasn’t telling her jokes. She thought it was funny that every time she had a problem, I tried to find a solution. Funny. That struck me as particularly odd. I doubt I’ll soon forget being called funny for doing my job.

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I acknowledge that I live and work on stolen Cowlitz, Clackamas, Atfalati, and Kalapuya land.
I give respect and reverence to those who came before me.