It is disheartening that my first assignment involves working through archival documents when I spent so much time organizing people in Narahja.… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …
It does not help that looking at archives is solitary work, so while my hands and eyes are busy — and while it does involve some mental effort — the remainder of the time, my thoughts circle around no center. … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …
I want to run for a political position by the time I reach 30, like my cousin Matsab. I know that this will not happen immediately, but I want things to be easier and faster, and everything in this society takes decades or centuries to happen.
Akah Kara’s body language is distant, and while we don’t know each other, I wish le were Narahji because I would know how to put lim at ease. There must be Shiji proxemics and body language that can make this less uncomfortable. O Salus, don’t wonder if you should go home! … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …
If I want to look out for Narahji interests and those of my family on the national level, staying in Menarka might have been a better choice. I cannot stand not knowing. I am less than a week into this position, and my head is ballooning.
As I left the family satellite home this morning, I received a message from Kara — “Get off of the Skyrail at Blossom Street on the district line. Turn right when you exit the terminal and go six blocks to 322 Keptomi Street. Knock and wait at the entrance for me to get you.”
322 Keptomi Street is an impressively-sized, 150-person matriarchal home next to an apartment building. Strong incense smoke wafts from the shrine across the street, and this must continuously bless its stones — at least, I felt that way when I put my hand against the pre-Occupation wood door to knock with the hard part of my palm. I envisioned the stone walls consuming the incense smoke particle by particle. My hands still smell like it.
Akah Kara married into the Paptetha, but they do open rooms to extrafamilial residents. I learned that ler older sister’s granddaughter had moved into the home to have better transit access to the biotechnology-focused school. A first cousin once removed has moved there from Karoumo to work for the Shiji Province Senate. Le still has one son who has not married, an acoustic coordinator at the clubs on Topiso Square.
Admittedly — and yes, even with what I said above — hmm, that was a bit much, deleting — we addressed each other in the informal, mesah instead of mesahelepui and ni negation instead of ni/hėa construction. I still used ịña at the end of the sentence, as I had been taught, though — and of course we — I am overthinking. Narahji has precious little to offer for formality. Aside from sentence order and verb construction, it’s the oddest thing about Tveshi. I think I would practice more outside of work if I knew more Shiji.
Akah Kara complimented the geometric designs on my forehead. Ler wife gave me a cup of iced nonu with sliced fruit on behalf of ler matriarch, who is out.
My boss has summoned me to go through files in ler attic. Before 1841, the Progressive Movement operated out of major party members’ homes. After 1841, they moved into the headquarters that we use now. The Progressive Movement refuses to have the remainder of ler records moved into the official archives until we have our new librarian-archivist, but I need to survey the situation so that when the new hire comes, le knows what le will have to do here. This collection will be a top priority because the Paptetha matriarch has decided to charge the Progressive Movement for each month that the documents remain here. They take up almost an entire room.
Perhaps my disdain for lackluster parts of history is obvious. I enjoy current events and politics. It must have shown in my personality assessment on file, and the best case scenario is that Akah Kara is correcting that aversion. I must admit that organizing and documenting what Akah Kara has here would be worse if le had not provided a dust mask.
I walked to Topiso Square for lunch and ate fried noodles and vegetables from a paper cup. The Tveshi Cultural Coalition approached me with pamphlets. I took one to pass on to my boss.
Le has many, many paper letters. Back in the early days of the Reconstruction, the band messaging system didn’t work properly, so people relied on paper — although I suppose it could have been to avoid the notice of hackers from the nuamua, Karatha, and that other organization I forget. Almost everyone talks via band or scribe now. Maybe I should be writing on traditional paper instead of scribe sheets. Anyone with the skill to hack electronic courier software could read this, and nothing is ever deleted completely with digital forensics. Is Suka wrong about journaling? What does le use? Something other than ECS scribe sheets?
I like being able to embed media and cross-reference things.
Akah Kara has audio and video recordings stacked high in boxes. Le has even more boxes of pamphlets, most of them duplicates. I put red stickers on them because we only need a few copies of each. The data drives and old computers are things that the archivist will need to assess because we may need to call in an emulation specialist, and I don’t understand most of the disciplinary vocabulary for that.
Almost everything seems in order. I need to go back tomorrow afternoon after some meetings so I can finish. And — I found something.
It was a box addressed to Adviser Tenes Sari.
It is wrapped in circle-patterned indigo paper and weighs about 6 kepiu. Something jingles inside when I shake it lightly. The card insert reads:
For the earth-bound traveler Adviser Tenes Sari from your glorious, most fervent admirer. This is in honor of the time we spent together in that Mau Taji Quarter kuaićo. May you find ultimate peace, akaćeheñi, and that daughter of yours.
Message reproduced from an image. Now, what would Adviser Tenes Sari want with a woman in a kuaićo? Does le visit this woman? Why would Akah Kara have this box?
These are all questions for the office tomorrow.