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Take a Letter, Miss Colbert

            One of my resolutions for 2012 is to redo the room euphemistically called “my office.” I do work in here, many hours a day. But the current state of the room merits a more appropriate title:  “Crazy Hoarder’s Space” or “Repository for Everyone’s Junk.”

            I’m replacing the ratty window blinds with shutters, so that I can let some light in. The man from the shutter company just came to take the measurements as well as a check for what seems like a shocking amount of money, but I’m on a tear now. Next will be to paint over the walls, now an unfortunate celery color, and cover them with something more soothing.

            This isn’t a large room, but along with running a business in here, the room serves as the landing spot for everything, it seems. Anything that no one else in the family wants to store but can’t quite get rid of gets dropped off in here: employment, tax, and medical records, discarded costumes and art supplies, warranties for every appliance and toy ever purchased, bills, CDs, candles, pencil stubs, holy cards, programs from LA Philharmonic performances and funerals, you name it. In sifting through desk drawers, closet shelves, and file cabinets to try to purge some of this detritus, I’ve come across old photos and letters, and quaint artifacts such as a sheaf of carbon paper and a steno pad!

            Sometimes when asked what I do for a living, I’m tempted to say, “I type shit up for people,” because saying “I’m a writer” seems too grandiose a description. I’ve long since learned that  moving across the country or to another continent doesn’t change anything, so I should know that metaphorically changing the wallpaper in the office won’t make me a different kind of writer, or a more important or successful one.

            But for this year, I’ve decided that writing in a jumbled, messy room won’t do anymore. If you need to make a carbon copy of something, let me know. But anyone wanting to stash some unwanted roadmap, Dodger bobblehead, or rarely played flute, keep out!




About treacycolbert

I make my living by writing about health care. I've always written about life's chastening effect, but just as a way of sorting it out for myself. After years of doing this and keeping these essays quiet, I decided to put some of these impressions out there on this blog. Thanks for reading, and let me know what you think.

8 responses »

  1. Good on ya, Treacy! Let us know when your “new” office is complete. Better yet, include a photo!

  2. Had you considered a lock for this office’s door, perhaps with a digital keypad? Of course you’d have to REMEMBER the code…

  3. Oh before and afters would be such a hoot! You go girl. Your new office will indeed reflect the marvelous…let me say that again… MARVELOUS writer that you are! Good for you. Enjoy the process, you deserve it. And I’m with Julietta on the lock deal! 🙂

  4. You are so funny, Treacy! I too, type shit up for people…but that’s only when I’m doing well. More often than not, I type it for myself. (Ah, carbon paper! A blast from the past! Remember typewriter erasers? With the little wheel and brush?)


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