Paperlessness

Having a new office is like starting a new relationship. Everything is fresh and new. You haven’t revealed your dark secrets yet, all the baggage is still unexplored, and you stand together at the precipice of endless possibility.

My office-until-yesterday was one of the rooms in our house on Prince Street. Because we moved into the house all in a flurry — Catherine was seven months pregnant with Oliver — I never really properly moved into that office. As a result, it was (and still is) littered with endless piles of detritus from my various projects and interests. Things like a large-format laserdisc of Heaven Can Wait, a PEI Visitors Guide from 1994, and my bank statements from the 1970s.

There are boxes, and old gloves, and a tripod. Unfiled papers, about $50 worth of loose change, and a pair of slippers.

Here in the virginal new office, there is only me, the desk, the iMac and the chair. That’s it.

Perhaps I’m naive, but I hope to never sully this new office with paper.

Those who have worked with me will know that handing me reams of paper about anything is second only to leaving me a voicemail in assuring a position on the “I probably will forget about you” scale (hint: send me email). I simply have never developed an effective system for dealing with paper, especially uncategorizable paper, other than “making big piles on the chair.”

Even as I write this, I am realizing the depths of my naivety in this regard: paper will, inevitably, worm its way in. There will be piles of it. I will shuffle them around. And I will ignore them.

But right now, for this brief honeymoon of pleasant, echoy emptiness, my office is a vast expanse of possibility.

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