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Friday, November 6, 1998

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 The Crazy Jane Chronicles
Part II

What is the point? Gillian was sitting at the head of the table at the department heads meeting. She was in charge and people were talking. After all who cares about me? I wake up alone, work alone, go to sleep alone. Damn these shoes. There was a traffic issue that needed to be resolved on Main Street. The crosswalks needed to be painted. "Did the Selectmen decide what color to paint the crosswalks?" the head of the DPW asked. Gillian looked at him. He was in his late sixties. Had worked for the Town for 30 years. He was all but useless as a planner and as a member of the team, but he could get things done.

"No. They fiddled around with the minutes and then did some housekeeping paperwork." Gillian had had to sit through another meeting on Tuesday night. The three people that governed the Town were not really that great in her opinion. But they were still the Selectmen.

"So, what do I do?"

"Repaint 'em the same as before." The raisin bran is not agreeing with me. The coffee is cold. My feet hurt. What's for lunch? Did I read this morning that they have found a way to grow new human cells? I could use that. Maybe I could grow a whole new me and start over. The Town Accountant was talking.

"The end of year figures are starting to gell now. It looks good. No overages, yet. The snow budget is OK."

"That was predictable." Gillian found repetition boring. She ended the meeting and sat at her desk. Here I am again. It's 8:30 A.M. and here I am again. The interesting world of Washington and New York is out there but here I am. Running the Town my husband grew up in, while he's in the city from dawn to dusk. What am I doing? If I walked out evberything would go along as if nothing happened. I am not really needed. I come here everyday and go through the motions. Make the expected decisions so people can do what they always do. Why? Adrienne. I'm not even really teaching her to drive. She's learning everything on her own. Jack and I are strangers. I walk among the living like a shadow. How many years now? The newspapers. The meetings. The people. The days after days. There she was. Sitting at her desk. Coffee cold. Room empty. The day predictably ahead. Back home was the choas of the morning rush, wet laundry, dirty dishes, unmade beds. Slumping at her desk, verging on emotion, Gillian put her head in her hands. The phone rang. It must be for Crazy Jane.

"Hello. This is Gillian." She could hear the television over the phone. Someone was calling from their home. The announcer was saying, "Speaker Gingrich is under seige and struggling to save the Speaker's job." A woman's voice came on. There was panic in it. The words came out too fast.

"You've got to help me...!"

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