I’ve gone deep. I did it. I’m in the archives and it is nice here and I never want to leave.
That’s obviously a lie: I want to leave a lot. It’s an archive in the Bahamas which means a barrier to sunlight and soft breezes. I still love it in here though, in the catacombs of the Ivory Tower.
The Bahamas National Archives, with its wood-paneled walls and low fluorescent lights and bustling, murmuring staff members, is a Wes Anderson film in the making. From where I sit I can hear the daily radio news report chattering from the security desk, and see the leaf-laden trees waving over the parking lot on the security footage streaming in to a TV box under the desk. Buzzers announce the arrival of another researcher over the hum of the AC and the whirring of microfilm machines. The sense of focus is clear, and ironically distracting. Ms. Strong sits at the microfilm machine and deftly churns the film with her fingers so black slides fly rapidly across the screen. Warm yellow light filters out from the base of the reader. When she stops glazing her fingers over the scroll pad, a black page with hints of white high colonial script peeking out freezes bluntly in the middle of the screen. Ms. Strong, thin and sly, whispers to herself from her ever-pursed lips and with hunched shoulders scribbles in a massive notepad. The Doctor (for that is only ever what he’s called) slowly turns another crackling page in an ancient leather-bound tome of marriage documentation at looks at me with a raised brow.
I’m looking at everything that I can, from consultant reports on agricultural development to a Columbia U. study on Nassau city planning to brochures for the “wild Tropics.” After reading 900 pages today, I am wholly daunted…which I suppose is good? I was in New York for a brief stint and I’m excited to dive back in. Tomorrow that will be a literal statement: we’re helping build coral propagation trees with The Nature Conservancy! Expect good tales. Love, Rennie BONUS: crappy Research Beach Babe Selfie for the bubelahs and shikses out there.