Friday, March 19, 2010
Drugs and Cherry Blossoms
I can’t get over the amount of paperwork piled up here on my desk. Bills, statements, receipts, tax forms, lists, notes, reminders, a census form... and now that I’m out of shelf space, stacks of books. When I type, my left elbow rubs against the nearest stack. And almost all of this has accumulated in the last two weeks.
Granted, of necessity, I’m responsible for two family accounts other than my own. My mother’s has its complications. I should really have a separate desk for hers alone. Come to think of it, this is her desk, and the drawers and typewriter well are already stuffed with documents and memorabilia. (Grr... I just made another note, to correct a misspelling in the original website entry of yesterday’s post. I can’t believe I missed it. And it’s been there for years.)
Am I disorganized? No. Lazy? Well, there’s some evidence, at least, to the contrary. What happens is this: I take care of everything, get it all paid, sorted, filed, and put away, and then I go out to the mailbox and bring in another load. Occasionally, a dump truck arrives with more. Men in hardhats. Women in business attire. Bitter children. Dogs, cats, slugs — all delivering paperwork. Just imagine what would happen if I were disorganized.
Of course, I could simplify. But I’ve simplified so many times over the years that about the only thing left I have to throw overboard is writing. True, an argument can be made that writing is where my trouble really begins. If I didn’t write, I wouldn’t have a website, blog, or Facebook page to maintain. If I didn’t write, I wouldn’t have letters to answer and comments to respond to. If I didn’t write, I would have time to do all the other things I don’t have time to do, but that I do anyway. In short, if I didn’t write, and if I didn’t communicate with others, I would be miserable. I would be consumed by efficiency from the inside out — which reminds me, although I don’t quite see a connection at the moment:
The other day, after I left the hospital emergency room, I saw one of our old neighbors — a boy in his early twenties now, who fell in with the wrong crowd while he was still in junior high school. As I drove away, he was walking slowly toward me on the sidewalk with a vacant stare, obviously fried on drugs. He was going nowhere — indeed, I doubt he knew where he was. When our eyes met, I saw in his a brief glimmer of helpless recognition. As I left him behind, framed in my mirror beside a cherry tree in blossom, I wondered how long I would remember what I was seeing, and what part the image would play, if any, in the days and weeks to come.
Well — I see the connection now. And will you just look at the time.
Recently Linked: My thanks to John Legaspi, for signing on as a follower of Recently Banned Literature.
In the Forum: great endings in a minute or less.