In the bookstore at the Orthodox church

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
there will be school work to do because today I couldn't do that because today I interviewed for my jobs because they are my jobs and I want them back.

and then I went to see the bookstore in the Orthodox church and met the lady minding the shop, and she had slung her fur coat over the chair behind the counter and I bet she's owned it for decades and maybe her large rings were newer than that but maybe not, and she was wonderful, and tiny and she was ninety-four years old.

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
except today was not a creeping pace. No petty pace, this day. The lady in the bookstore is, she told me, a cancer survivor. She got it in her eighties, she said. And chemo was rough. Your hair falls out, you know. But this morning she got an appointment right away with the doctor - for something wrong with her leg, I think, and she was so glad. She told the person on the phone she was so glad she got to see him then. Because it gave her a reason to drive at that hour. And it was snowing. And it was so beautiful.

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
or not. Out, out, or maybe we can live to be ninety-four and dress fit for immediate seating in a better place than dusty, and be so kind and practical and sweet. And little. She was so little. I didn't notice until she took my card and ran it through the machine and waited. What a tiny little person! What a good cut, her skirt was fashioned from.

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
unless it doesn't. Sometimes life is brisk and quick and pays attention for a very long time and remembers our neighbor from the old house. Oh, yes. She remembered him. Vanikiotis is an old family name, and she remembers him very well.

And then is heard no more.
Or is.
Because she still remembers him.
And he was kind and she is kind and when her friends stop in to see how her appointment went this morning, she speaks in Greek. Or English. Or Greek. It doesn't matter.

It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
or love. It might be full of love and it might be told by a woman born when the last century was young, and now she takes her daughter's phone calls on her cell phone, because she's fine, the doctor said. She's fine.

Signifying nothing.
Or maybe something.
Today, I see that it is really something and Macbeth was wrong. He never met the lady volunteering in the bookstore.
But I did.


Eric Kyte said...

Thanks for this beautiful post Melanie

Just found your blog - stumbled on it looking for a piece of artwork

Looked up your latest blog and found you using exactly the same quote I'd used myself just a day or so ago

I agree Macbeth is Very wrong, but very contemporary it often seems

Thank you once again

Stephanie said...

Thank you, sir. Welcome to my oddball little corner of cyberspace. It's always nice to have a new reader. (My name's Stephanie, though.)

marchi said...

lovely, the story, the woman, and your telling of her life.