It's Easier Not to be Wise [open]

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It's Easier Not to be Wise [open]

Post  Solomon Halsley on Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:35 am

Solomon was trying to balance his pen on one end, leaning his temple against his hand, but it didn't appear to be working well. A book was laying open in front of him; Crime and Punishment, which he had read twice before and had finished half of up until now. He couldn't focus on the exploits of Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov just then; he felt too restless, his eyes too scratchy from lack of sleep, his nerves too jangly. It was ominously quiet in the staff lounge, and the silence was running in prickles up and down his limbs, over his back. A cup of tea cooled by his elbow, untouched, because the process of making tea was more comforting than actually drinking it was. He would get around to it eventually. Or not. He thought of his abandoned desk in the library, which bore a little notice that said, 'back in five', a nuance that was hardly necessary. No-one checked books out anyway. He shouldn't be so down on the kids; some of them came in regularly, but it was a pathetic ratio of those who did compared to those who didn't. That smiley redheaded teacher came in a lot, and he always appreciated her sunny musings while he checked her books out for her. That thought might have been a little sarcastic, but annoying optimism aside, she was always pleasant, something that couldn't be said for him. She and that little Asian girl who was always studying were the people he could count on being in the library almost daily; well, them and the overwhelming number of kids who thought they could get up to no good behind the more disused shelves. Which, incidentally, Solomon should have been organizing right then.

He got up to leave, but his elbow tipped over the full cup of tea, whose inevitable descent seemed to be in slow motion. When it hit the ground, the sound of the cup breaking made him jump a foot in the air even though he'd watched it fall. Swearing, Solomon went to find something to wipe up the spilled tea and broken glass. He found a towel, and got on his knees to sop up the spreading brown puddle; the towel was just thick enough for the job. He set about collecting the glass with his hands, making a mental note to look for a broom later for the smaller bits. A cluster of which, incidentally, had lodged themselves in his palm and had commenced to bleeding profusely. Swearing more vehemently, he sat back on his heels, staring at his bloody palm. The thought of putting the sticky towel to it was foul, as was the thought of licking it, so he balled his hand into a fist. Solomon knew he should go over to the sink and pick the little glass bits out of his hand, but the thought was somehow exhausting. If his tea mug wounds were serious enough to exsanguinate from, then he wanted to do it.

Realizing the ridiculousness of that thought and hoping that it wouldn't prove recurrent in the future, he swiped lamely at the rest of the glass with the towel, trying to pick it up without using his hands. For some reason, the cleanliness of the room was infinitely more important than the state of his bleeding, fisted hand. He knew that he probably looked pretty pathetic, and hoped that no-one would walk in on this particularly miserable scene. That would be pretty much be his luck, though, wouldn't it? You need to snap out of this, he told himself firmly. You're an adult. Stop acting like you're one of the crazy kids who belong at this place. Nobody's ever going to believe you otherwise. This mental chiding, however, did nothing to get him off the floor and to the sink. Solomon was stuck.
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Re: It's Easier Not to be Wise [open]

Post  Marcy Wunderle on Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:35 pm

It seemed like, when she arrived Marcy's first credit card statement was already waiting for her. First meaning first ever, not simply first at Grove's End. Getting her first credit card statement at twenty two. Was that sad? Her brother Mark seemed to think so. He took a little too much pleasure in mocking her when she asked him to make sure she willing out the forms right. She simply hadn't had much need for one before all this. She'd been living at home with her family. She was never much for shopping sprees: online or in person. And when she did go nuts it was more likely to be at a thrift store than a full-price one. It wasn't a style-based choice, just a frugal one. She was a cheapskate through and through. Or at least she'd rather spend her money on good times and good friends.

So on her second day of work she was heading towards the staff lounge with the statement open and in front of her face. This new step into adulthood honestly kind of freaked her out. She felt paranoid, more than she ever had before, about debt and hidden charges and things. Mark had tried to assure her that the card she signed up for was the right one, that it wasn't tricky in the least, but Marcy remained slightly unconvinced. She heard too many horror stories about people's first credit cards.

As she came through the door, squinting at the fine print, she nearly tripped over a man on his hand and knees in the center of the floor. Marcy did a little scrambling dance around her and halted, finally dropping her hand holding the statement down and away from her face.

"Whoa, Oh hell.... Heeeeey there! Need a hand?"

She said it with a good-natured smile and a tilt of her head. Yet to notice the blood as it was somewhat blocked from her view by the rest of him. Dressed in a pair of blue jeans, what seemed to be not far off hiking boots and a soft cotton striped shirt it was pretty obvious she was hired for grunt work as opposed to something academic. Her ginger hair was pulled up in a slightly accidentally off-center ponytail and plastic framed glasses where between her and the rest of the world. She moved towards the counter to grab a dishtowel, ready to help.
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Re: It's Easier Not to be Wise [open]

Post  Solomon Halsley on Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:00 pm

Yep. This was his sort of luck, wasn't it? Only Solomon Halsley could break a cup, spill tea everywhere, cut himself on the shards of said cup, and have a cute girl nearly trip over him in under five minutes. Bonus because he'd jumped like a skittish deer when she'd approached. It was like his luck had changed with his name; he didn't remember having things go this badly on a daily basis before. But then, he'd never been relocated to the ass end of nowhere and been employed by a glorified mental institution before, either. Quickly scrambling to his feet, holding the cup fragments and the sodden towel, making sure not to meet her eyes, Solomon replied,

"Yeah, thanks...sorry. I knocked my tea over. Stupid. I need to pay more attention to what I'm doing." Chuckling humorlessly at himself, he moved to the trash bin to throw away the bits of the cup, and then moved toward the sink to wash the blood from his hand and hopefully get the bits of glass out. Fact: the quickest way to pull someone out of their pathetic stupor was to introduce another person into the situation to observe just how lame they were being. If left to his own devices, Solomon likely would have turned into a very cleanly, moody hermit who lived in the library and only emerged occasionally for food. It took the cheerful presence of other people, unwanted and unasked for as it may have been, to turn him into even the barest shadow of the reasonably happy person he'd been only a short time ago. Running warm water over his hand and inspecting the superficial wounds with a calm interest, he glanced back at the girl and said,

"You're new here, aren't you?" If she wasn't, he hadn't ever seen her before, which, admittedly, wouldn't be a stretch of the imagination. There could very well be more than one coworker whose face he hadn't ever seen. Solomon wasn't exactly a social butterfly, something which he couldn't quite bring himself to regret or change. Trying to keep the sarcasm out of his voice at the thought of welcoming someone to this place, he continued, "If you are new, welcome to Highgrove. If you're not, then I'm sorry for not recognizing you." That would also be just his luck; not recognizing someone he'd maybe walked by a hundred times in the last month or so would be the natural humiliating conclusion to this farce.
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Re: It's Easier Not to be Wise [open]

Post  Marcy Wunderle on Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:51 pm

"No worries," She chimed getting down on her knees beside him one by one. Spreading out the towel and moving to put some of the bigger glass pieces inside. "I was working in a pub before this, it's not a real day for me without picking up broken bits of something, I suppose." she smiled through her highlands accent. Soft, round sounds coming off her lips. Like pillows made of words, softening any bad feelings he might be have.

Truth be known, Marcy was like... the Goddess of breaking dishes. Perpetually knocking something over, hearing it smash. The folks at the seniors home knew she worked at the pub so at first they assigned her to the kitchen at the home. It look them a little over a week to realize what a colossally bad idea that was. Before long she was playing card with the old folks and permanently banned from touching more than one dish at a time.

All the big chunks gathered up Marcy stood and when snooping for a plastic bag to put them in. It always seemed dangerous? reckless? to just toss them into the garbage all willy-nilly. Plus she'd had more than one garbage bag tear open on her half way to the dumpster. Unpleasant. Once they had the big bits taken care of she snatched up a broom from the corner while he went to deal with his hand.

"You're not going to need stitches are you? Didn't look toooo gory to me." She said as she went to work pushing the itty bitty bits into a little pile. Careful not to sweep them too hard and send them everywhere. Another mistake she'd made in the past.

"Yes, Today's only my second day... I've yet to blow up the place. Hooray!" she gave her arm a little victory pump. Then she softened her silly expression for a small serious note. She really needed to figure out how to interact with people without acting like a kid on the come down of a serious sugar high. She was an adult damnit. Wasn't she? She crouched down and choked up on the broom handle: sweeping the last of the wreckage into a dust pan.

"I'm Marcy... Have you been here long ya'self?"
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Re: It's Easier Not to be Wise [open]

Post  Solomon Halsley on Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:33 am

"No, no stitches," Solomon proclaimed, experimentally picking at one of the piece of glass still stuck in his hand. It came loose, then tinkered away into the sink. The pain was almost cathartic. Now I'm like a teenage girl who cuts herself for the endorphin rush. Great. Scowling at his hand, he picked a second piece of glass out and mumbled, "Just a flesh wound." He didn't know why that sounded ridiculous. It just did, probably because it was coming from his mouth. Solomon was relieved that it was only her second day...she really was new, and not just a victim of how unobservant he was of the people around him. His scowl turned into a small smile as she cheered herself on for not turning the building into a pile of charred rubble. Well, that was one small victory, he supposed.

"I'm glad. Dying in a fiery blast wasn't really on my top ten list of things to do today," he replied, sending the smile over his shoulder momentarily. More little bits of glass clattered into the sink. Only I could manage this, he thought ruefully. When did I become bad at living? I didn't even know that was possible. Self-pity was pretty much his go-to emotion now, the thing he could rely on always being there. He was even getting on his own nerves, to be honest, but there didn't seem to be any other way to feel except sorry for himself.

"I'm Solomon," No I'm not. "I've been here...a little less than a month, I think." It seemed way longer than that for some reason. It felt like a year. How would it feel when he'd actually been here for a year? Would time eventually go back to normal, or would everything slow down forever? He definitely hoped that the rest of his lie of a life wasn't going to progress this slowly; that would be unbearable. "I'm the librarian. Boring, I know. What do you do?" Solomon was guessing that it wasn't a job that involved being highly skilled at anything. Marcy seemed nice, but not particularly...organized. And if there was one thing Solomon wanted was for everything to be organized, even the people around him.
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Re: It's Easier Not to be Wise [open]

Post  Marcy Wunderle on Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:20 am

A small snort of a laugh came out of her. She couldn't help it. She kind of loved Monty Python. Who didn't really, it was a fuckin' national treasure. But despite all things, Holy Grail always seemed to be her favorite. There was just something that couldn't seem to replace that story for her.

"Glad to hear it," she said as she let the last of the glass slide from inside the dustpan into the bin. There. Problem solved. Though Marcy only barely considered it a problem. What was one broken cup after all? Hardly the catastrophe Solomon might think it was. Really it was a day-to-day ritual for Marcy. Sweeping up broken bits was as natural as breathing.

Then she quickly moved to tuck away the tools. Returning to the table she quickly folded up the credit card statement and slipped it into the back pocket of her jeans. That wasn't really the kind of thing one ought to flash around to the world, even if the thing did only have three small-to-reasonable charges on it. Unremarkable at best, slightly remarkable in how small and dull it was perhaps.

"Well, it's great to meet 'ya Solomon." She said with a little smile. The heel of her hands came to rest on the back of one of the chairs by the table. Her fingers curling along the line of the backrest as she leaned a bit of her weight on the chair. Not sure if she wanted to sit down just yet. Maybe she'd grab a drink first?

"Hey, hey now. Things only get boring when you stop trying and let them get that way. Don't go 'round inviting that. Heh. I just took up a Warden position. My family owns a pub up in the Highlands, but I have a good number of brothers and sisters so it was all starting to get a little... 'Too many chefs in the kitchen' type of situation, yeah? And I was thinking maybe I might want to go do the social work thing, so I figure with would be a good place to try things out. Ya know, before I drop my savings on an education of sorts...." Oh, she was just a blathering away, wasn't she? He was kind of cute in a gloomy-bear, Eeyore kind of way. She hadn't known that was even possible. And she wasn't sure if she was going to hate that shortly or simply be entirely driven towards that girlish cliqué of "fixing" men. Or trying to at least.

She could use a beer. A tea would do though... maybe. She released the chair and moved over to the counter and got to work. Putting the kettle on and getting things sorted.

"I'll make you a new cup as well, how do you take it?
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Re: It's Easier Not to be Wise [open]

Post  Solomon Halsley on Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:02 am

Solomon smiled weakly at Marcy. He liked talkers, because as long as she kept talking, he didn't have to. He could see her as a warden; not a particularly effective one, but the "cool" warden who gave cupcakes to kids who tried to sneak out of their rooms instead of yelling at them. Maybe he should try giving kids cupcakes...maybe then they would actually like him. But then, he'd never really been the "cool" anything, so why start now? He was finding the thought of making a new start for himself less and less appealing; Solomon just wanted to be himself as he had always been. As for his being boring stemming from lack of effort...well, that was probably true. He didn't really have any energy to devote to being interesting, so he decided not to worry about it. There were worse things than being boring.

"Nice to meet you too. Social work sounds...interesting, and this is definitely the place to dip your toes in. Believe me." Actually, social work sounded downright hellish, but he didn't need to voice that opinion. Whatever worked for her was her business, after all, and not everyone disliked these kids as much as he did. Some people had actually chosen to work here. "I like my boring job, personally, but I wish it would be a bit more boring sometimes. I imagine regular librarians don't have to clear out hoarding stashes from their bookshelves." That incident still bothered him when he thought about it, so he tried not to. But Solomon wasn't really good at banishing unpleasant thoughts, and every time he walked past the geology textbooks he felt bad.

"Oh, um, I'm fine. I've probably had enough today anyway," he said with a nervous-sounding laugh, leaning against the sink and pressing his palm against a dish towel. "I need to cut back." That, and it was easier not to have to talk about his personal preferences. It felt like he shouldn't talk about himself, like there was something dangerous about telling someone something as simple as how he liked his tea. Their were things that were pertinent to his new identity, that were obvious; he was a librarian, he liked to organize things, he had a cat, he was depressing. And then there was everything else, everything personal, everything it seemed kind of wrong to share just yet. Maybe that would become easier with time, too. Maybe everything would.
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