Friday, September 15, 2006

The 14th Cake

I made a list yesterday of all the “Last Day in ILL” cakes I’ve eaten in my time here. Well, really not ALL the cake, that would have taken more time than I had, and I’m sure there are many people who’ve left the library who’s cake I’ve eaten, who I now wouldn’t know if they turned up sitting on the sofa in my living room. The list had all the former ILL staffers who have moved on to better things. It didn’t even include people who sort of worked in ILL, like the Access Computing people, they aren’t on the list. Still, there were 14 names. Fourteen people have left ILL since I started almost eight years ago. It’s a shocking figure.

Which of course, put me in a reflective mood. Some of those cakes (and they weren’t always cakes, some were pies or tarts, but I’m grouping them all as “cakes” for the purposes of this post) were so thrilling. It meant the end of a long arduous relationship with coworkers who irritated me, for myriad reasons. Some were bittersweet, and marked the end of spending my days with very cool people who were moving on to better things. Some were really just an excuse to eat cake, as people moved from ILL to Other Places in the library.

We’ve got another Last Day Cake today (already included in my list of 14), German Chocolate from the Buttery, and as with each of the others, I wonder when I’ll get my own “Last Day Cake.” I can’t really imagine leaving this place, and at the same time, I have a hard time staying much longer, certainly not with my sanity intact.

At one point I decided that if I were to get a tattoo that represented my time in ILL (not that I would, but you know, it’s a good hypothetical question) it would be the phrase “pf11, in Elvish characters. Now I’ve decided that to this mythical tattoo, I will add the phrase The 14th Cake.” However, since I don’t know exactly how long I’m in for, I can’t get the mythical tattoo until I leave. Because I can imagine having to go back in again and again, having the artist slash out one number and replace it with the next. The 15th Cake, The 16th Cake and so on.