I sit at my new desk, facing my new wall. It's a dry erase board. Someone put my name on it, my name and an arrow, for the computer guy so he'd know where to move my computer when he got me all set up in here, my temporary workspace while they gut and remodel the Marketing Department. About half the Marketing team is in here, organized in a close ring around the inner wall of the conference room. Now that I'm all moved in and the computer is up and running, I could erase my name from the whiteboard but I don't.
That impulse to make a home.
When I moved into Powell's Industrial Warehouse a year ago, I brought with me as much as I could of my old desk: my tape dispenser, my cubicle decorations, my
This afternoon as I packed it all up, my supervisor ducked under my desk to pull my computer out. He pointed at the small wooden box the computer sat on.
"Does it matter to you whether you keep that or not?" he said.
I didn't know what purpose it served.
"Yes," I said.
Now, and for the next three weeks, maybe a month, this whiteboard is mine. And those dry erase markers, the blue one, the orange one, the two red ones, those are mine. I'll probably never write anything on the whiteboard but I could if I wanted to.
I arrange my desk. I arrange my snowflake. I didn't want to throw away the tiny snowflakes Lenore and I stamped out of paper back before the holidays. Three sat on my desk all winter - then two when one disappeared. No real reason to keep them there - just that at first they were cute and then they were mine. It's spring and there's no need for paper snowflakes, but when I tossed one in recycling this afternoon - a tiny flick of paper into the bucket - it hurt to let it go.
Gently, I place my last snowflake on my new desk next to the lamp that I never turn on. Behind me, coming in through the open door of the conference room is the chug-chug of the warehouse and the sound of the Rolling Stones.