Saturday, October 18, 2014


Charley using his library card
This post is dedicated to my friend Laura.

My idea of borrowing from the library:

·        Look at the books as they come across the desk. Read the jacket covers. Decide if I really want to read it (did I mention I work at the library?)

·        Occasionally check out a music CD to listen to during lunch.

·        Everything must be left at the library, lest it get lost in the black hole of the house. I cannot be trusted to bring them back.

Charley’s idea of borrowing from the library:

·        Inspect every DVD in the book drop (did I mention that he volunteers at the library, picking up books in the book drop on Mondays and Saturdays?)

·        Hold up every DVD and tell me whether he has it at home or not

·        Stand in the work room and wait for Shirley (that’s my coworker) to give him a Chug-a-lug chocolate milk as his reward for picking up the books.

·        Pick out his DVDs (he’s only allowed two because he hasn’t quite grasped the concept of borrowing yet)

·        Hide the DVDs under the couch when he gets home so he has a prayer of finding them again.

My idea of returning DVDs to the library:

·        Retrieve the book from my desk and check it in.
Charley’s idea of returning DVDs to the library:

·        Spend the better part of two days trying to convince me he doesn’t have the DVDs, and that he never checked them out

·        Put the empty Lion King DVD case in my backpack.  Keep the movie, return the worthless case (like I’m not going to notice)

·        Put the Pocahontas DVD case (with DVD inside) on the dining room table as if I can’t count.

Me: “You borrowed 2 DVDs, not one.

Him: “No, one.”

Me: No, 2.

Him: “Uh uh.”

Me: “Stop stalling.”

Him:  Glare. Stare. Fidget.

Me:  “Well then, unless you turn in ALL of the DVDs you borrowed, you can’t borrow any more.

Him:  Nose dive under couch, followed by looking at me with his hands in the air. “Abwadabwa.”

Me:  “Don't Abracadabra Me. I know it’s there.”

Him:  “Gone.”

Me:  “Guess you don’t want to keep that library card.” (Did I mention that Charley has a thing about cards? He collects them.)

Him: Nose dive number 2. 

Here’s the thing. He’s got stacks and stacks and stacks of DVDs stacked up around his TV. All within reach. It’s his system.

 He knows exactly where the Incredible Hulk is. Batman, Superman, he knows where they are. Spiderman . Men in Black. X-Men. Just say the word. But Lion King has disappeared. And where? You guessed it. The black hole.

I can’t get too mad at him. And why? Because he is just like me.

               And for a split second, I thought about my friend Laura. She visited one day shortly after I was injured, and we were working on our knitting projects. Because I had mobility issues, she was helping me look for a knitting needle. Otherwise, I’d have looked but pretended to be doing something else so she wouldn’t notice, but this particular time I outed myself.
               I knew I had a size 4 needle somewhere. But where? So we looked in the basket beside my knitting chair. Not there. We looked in the knitting needle box. Are you kidding me? Do I ever put anything back?
             We looked under the chair, behind the chair, and in the crevices. And then, Laura, who is more organized than the law allows looked at me with that blank look she gives me.
“It’s lost in the system,” I said.
She busted out laughing.
And laughing.
“The system?”
“Yes, the system.”
She laughed some more.
“I know where we could try,” I said. “Go out and look on the floor of the car behind the driver’s seat.”
Another blank, wide-eyed stare. She might have even mumbled something under her breath, I can’t remember.
She could look at me all she wanted to, but I know my system, and sure enough, there it was, the size 4 needle I needed.
She held it up. “On the floor of the car?”
I don’t remember either, if I tried to come up with an explanation.  What is, is what is, whatever what is will be, will be whatever what is…regardless.
I could have used Laura’s help this morning when Lion King went MIA.
I thought about fussing. I thought about cramming a donut in my mouth (Didn’t have any in the house, too bad). Instead, I said, “I’m telling Laura on you.”
And what do you know? Lion King came out of hiding and went right back into the case, into the backpack, and back to the Library.
On the way to the library, I had a little discussion about borrowing with Charley.
“You and I have to get organized, Son. What we need is a system.”
“A system?”
“I got me system.”
“I know. I’ve seen the couch.”
“You got you system?” he said.
“Have you seen my knitting needles?”
“My point exactly.”
He just grinned and said, “You big twoublt. I tellin’ Lauwa.”