"That's the last of them," said Jenny, my research librarian.
She closed and locked the seal on the climate controlled shipping unit. A burly United Express delivery man picked up the silver, suitcase sized box and stacked it on top of four others just like it. He tipped them back on a dolly and wheeled them out though the front door at Fiddler's Edge and down the hallway, whistling as he worked. I noticed a dog-eared copy of À la Recherche Du Temps Perdu in his back pocket.
The offices at Fiddlers Edge were empty. Books, office furniture, computers and all fixtures of a think-tank had been taken away and put into storage. Nothing left but dust bunnies, the odd paper clip and a spent shell casing. I walked to a window that looked out on the National Mall. Jenny followed me and our footfalls on the wooden floors echoed hollowly in the cavernous room.
We stood there together, watching nothing in particular for a while.
"You have plans?" she asked, finally.
"I have plans," I said. "The most immediate involves a week on an island in the Caribbean. After that I have a few writing projects in mind."
"Always with the writing," she said with, I thought, a slight strain in her voice.
"Always with the writing," I affirmed quietly.
She kept her back to me, apparently making a careful study of the Smithsonian Castle.
"They packed up the tissues," I observed after a short silence.
"Shutup," she answered through a low laugh.
She pivoted away from me and strode to the door. Her purse lay on the floor next to it. She picked it up, closed her eyes, took a deep breath and puffed it out again. Then she turned back to me, eyes dry and, as ever, under control.
"Did the National Archives get back to you?" I asked her.
"Yes," she said. "Some guy named Sturlison." She raised an eyebrow at me. "He's head of Special Acquisitions?"
"Yes," I said. "That's the guy. I gave him your name. Said you might be coming available."
"You know there's no Special Acquisitions department at the Archives."
"Oh there is," I said. "They're just not listed on the website."
"Or in the budget," she observed.
"Well," I said with a grim smile, "Think of it as the only covert ops unit made up entirely of librarians. Their special acquisitions are very special. Sometimes dangerously so. And the acquisition part of it is often...challenging."
She held her breath and asked, "Is there gun-play?"
"At times," I nodded. "And worse."
"You," she said, "Are the best boss ever."
This time I'm sure there were tears.
She turned away again, walking out the office. I heard the elevator ding its arrival, and then I was alone.
I took my coat and hat off of the hooks next to the door. It was a cold day in DC, raw and overcast. I pulled on the coat and checked the pocket for my keys. Then, as I settled the hat on my head, I took the doorpull in my hand and gave the office one last look.
Then I pulled close the heavy oak door to Fiddler's Edge.
18 hours ago
! What?! NOOOOOOOOO!ReplyDelete
^^ What he said. Your about the only voice of reason and thoughtfull insight in the sometimes to random world of EVE? Say it aint so.....ReplyDelete
Ok, for those not familiar with Romance languages. The book was one by Proust, in search of lost time. The last pair of words Fiat lux . . . let there be light.ReplyDelete
And I agree with the other commenters . . . NOOOOOOO!. You were th voise of semi-sanity in the looney bins of null.
Not to mention the killer legs on the librarian.
Never fear, brave pilots! TEST has risen to the challenge and has appointed a new minister of reason and thoughtful insight. We will continue pushing truth and strategic analysis forward for all of EVE now that Mord is going underground.ReplyDelete
Really. You're really pimping an alliance in this farewell post. That's really what you're going with.
Well. The good news is that I am no longer opinion-neutral regarding TEST.
TEST alliance can go DIAF.ReplyDelete
Test Alliance....PLEAE IGNORE!
Having only discovered your blog a few months ago, I can truthfully say that you quickly rose to one of my most-anticipated blogs to read. Sad to see you go, but I hope you come back soon!ReplyDelete
Wait, what? You're quitting? Why?!?ReplyDelete
DON'T QUIT! I read your blog from work every day, looking for more insight. What could possibly put the Wise Fiddle out of EVE?
Plz don't go? Plz?
If you don't like your alliance, anyone here can get you into another one.
It's about time and about writing.ReplyDelete
There are hints. The book, clarified above, is "Proust, in search of lost time." Then, "I have a few writing projects in mind." Then there's some heavy referencing to a short story he wrote last year.
((And yes, Mord, I caught how clever you were being with the fiat lux bit. It works in multiple ways!))
It's sad that he considers it a matter of either/or, but... with regret, one supposes that there's nothing for it.
@Richard - When you don't get the joke, anger is the best strategy. I am sure Mord knows that the ironic reference that you call pimping was a compliment to him for always keeping a level head in the middle of the infoWar...ReplyDelete
The bad news is that TEST is no longer opinion-neutral about you.
You're right, Jaggins. You're hilarious.ReplyDelete
Just not for the reasons you think.
Thanks for the words, thoughts, and general fun with this blog.