Fridays (Friday Number Two, August 25th, page 1 of 4)


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It is Friday, just before midnight, and I'm sitting in my living room, and, in spite of the heat, trying to settle myself with a cup of hot chocolate before traipsing off to bed. Settling Lucille Peabody is no simple chore after the past week. I am a bundle of nerves. I have taken up this journal to give my fingers something to do before I pick my nails to the bloody quick. I suppose, as usual, I'm also writing out of a sense of guilt. It has been a full week since I've penned any jewels of wisdom to these pages and Father Hammond inquired again last Sunday of my literary progress. Before I chronicle the highlights, I'll dismiss the mundane.

Monday and Tuesday were spent unpacking and cataloging books, long boxed away in my crowded basement, and stacking them willy-nilly about the living room. They will go on the new shelves in my parent's room, as soon as I bring myself around to the postponed chore of cleaning out the quarters. As a teenager I worked in the city library and the habits of order have plagued me ever since. In my robot-mind I must sort to author, content, etc. before I'm satisfied with my small library. In between time I tended my garden and even managed a walk or two along the ocean. On Wednesday eve I followed my usual routine and attended the Ladies Alter Society meeting at our church.

I call my fellow members of the society the hens. The hens are all much older than I, but I continue to attend their biweekly Wednesday night meetings though we have little in common and they consider me more their child than a peer. I've heard them refer to me as Mildred's daughter when they didn't realize my ears were perked to their comments. I sit in a corner, the quietest hen in the chicken coop. My membership is automatic as I've attended for years, first with my mother and then, when she fell ill, as her surrogate. My sole reason to be there may be a deep seeded need to periodically expose myself to conversation above the seven-year-old, second grade, level.

I should be involved with women my age but those in other church groups are mostly concerned with the religious education of their children, and of course, I have none. Besides, the hens usually demand little by way of conversational participation on my part. An occasional smile or nod is sufficient. Little religious business is conducted other than assignment of mandatory functions such as preparation of the church linens and periodic altar and sacristy maintenance. My prime responsibility, aside from filling a seat on the scheduled Wednesday evenings, is supplying flowers in season, which I do with pleasure.

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