Fridays (Friday Number One, August 18th, page 1 of 4)

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A week has passed since I've taken time to pen words in this journal, but the volume has stared at me from my night table until I feel compelled to make some entry. Besides, last Sunday Father Hammond asked if I was making progress in my writing and I answered affirmatively. So here I am, making an honest person of my lazy self.

I don't mean to say the past seven days floated by in a sea of idleness. The carpenters continue to rumble with hammer and saw, to the accompaniment of loud and undecipherable music from a paint-splattered boom-box that has a coat hanger for use as an antenna. But I don't mind the noise and confusion. They speak of progress toward the emergence of my new world! And there are no demands on me to do anything, but sit back and watch the progress, occasionally nodding in agreement. I've even authorized work in mother and father's room where newly erected bookcases now line the walls from floor to ceiling; walls previously decorated with pictures of ancient relatives and long departed saints. Two coats of oil based paint displace the smells of death and disinfectant. Much work remains before the room is to my liking, but it is vastly improved now that my parent's ancient bed is stacked against the wall, ready for removal.

I plan to place a table in the center of the room where I can correct my school papers in peace and good light. I visualize a soft corner chair for reading. I have no need for a spare bedroom and if, perchance, my sister Emily comes to town, one of us will use my new sofa. I will fill the book shelves at my leisure from the scores of volumes packed away throughout the house and garage. The one remaining chore is to cast away the last remnants of my parents by cleaning out the dresser drawers and closet, as soon as I build up my courage.

This week was not absent problems. What some would call a mild annoyance, to me was a worrisome ordeal. Mr. Anderson called and asked me to dinner; not once but twice. Usually, when an infrequent invitation of this type occurs, a simple no is sufficient discouragement. The offer is seldom repeated. I socialize only when necessity dictates and I've successfully avoided any involvement that might be described as dating. Most people who know me realize this and my limited social involvement does not expose me to many strangers, especially of the male gender.

The situation with Mr. Anderson is peculiar. He and I have attended the same church all of our lives and nodded at each other on a thousand Sunday mornings. I was surprised when he called me. We smile in recognition if we pass on the street, if neither manages to look away in time. However, I don't recall we've ever exchanged a single word.

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