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Point of View: An Office You Can Get Into

Wed, 04/10/2024 - 12:51

I divested myself of almost 60 years of “detritus” in four hours the other day, in advance of a legion of mitigators. I asked one of them if the books atop the crammed bookshelf were okay, and she said, “Not okay,” and so I cleared them off.

“You threw out my picture?” Mary asked when later I told her my office’s walls were now bare, the floors were bare, the desk was bare, and that all the savory quotes were gone from the window frames. No, I had not thrown her in the dumpster, I said. She was in a box, a number of which I’d shifted into the newsroom, to be returned to prominence once the office was cleansed.

“I didn’t think I could do it,” I had said to Russell and Zach that afternoon. “I feel like a cub reporter on his first day . . . reborn. What a fitting feeling for Easter.”

To some passers-by whom I’d regaled with the tale, I said, in parting, “But it’s all up here,” pointing to my wizened head. “At least for the moment.”

Sixty years! Well, maybe not 60, but 45, for sure — ever since I was freed from the town bored and began writing sports I have been in that corner office, an office so packed with stuff I deemed essential to my well-being that Mary “could not get into it” as recently as a week ago.

So, goodbye to all that. . . . Well, not all. There remain some things that I still cling to, like the stacked sports pages dating to the turn of the century — my piling system, as Paul Friese calls it — for when memory doesn’t serve. I must stay in shape to lift and sift and work my way through them.

O’en’s fluffy bed must go back too, between a Fibber McGee closet chock-full of old cameras and discarded town comprehensive and airport plans, and my desk. And so, little by little, perhaps I’ll get it back to where you can’t get into it again.

Mary says it oughtn’t to take long.

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