One thing you learn around here, on Planet Earth, is that if you stick around long enough, people get old.
You might think that this is obvious, and that everyone knows this. But that is only because you are old... ish.
Come on now, think back. I dare you.
Once upon a time, this was all just a kind of theory. There were old people, tons of them, but no one had seen it happen.
Now people drop dead before our eyes, they fade like wraiths in abrupt fits and chunks of time, three years, ten, and the indomitable suddenly show up one day frail, bent, bleached, withered.
This shit never happened when I was 25.
I noticed it, and then soon there was a point where it made me mad. But even that wore away, like mountains dissolved by snowflakes.
Now, like you, when it comes down to it, I am just... wise. Venerable. Still.
We're all just trees here, watching the sun and the night.
One long-time colleague is retiring tomorrow. She liked Italy and spoke Italian. She ran some history courses that were wildly popular with seniors. And she was the librarian who dealt with all the public challenges to items in our collection.
Our library has never been the sort to be on the verge of being forced to ban books, but it was nice to have someone there for the eventualities.
I am bringing gelato to her farewell potluck, and the following joke to tell her:
Thank god you are finally leaving. Now we can get some of these awful books banned from here!!