I think I’m too tired to blog.
After the day of hiking, I was a bit sore and wanted badly to sleep this morning. But I pulled myself out of dreams and out to the living room with coffee and the laptop. I walked Chienne – freshly bathed from the night before and still struggling with a tummy issue – then got ready for work.
It was moving day for me at work.
Boss asked on Friday if I would relocate my copious belongings to an office with other fellows. I said I’d take care of it this weekend. That didn’t happen.
So I got there this morning, ready to cart stuff around.
I found the new key in my mailbox, then looked around my new home.
It was hot as hell. But was otherwise acceptable. I think the move is good for a couple of reasons. I’ll have more contact with other academic people and there’s a grad student there so I can think “at least I don’t have to take tests!”
The difficult part – for me as well as Jill – is that Winnie used to use that office. One of the file drawers contained some of her personal belongings. Shoes. Some catalogs. A box full of stuff. And a textbook. I watched as Jill started to cry, and wondered if the pills were kicking in again. I felt stable, if a bit removed.
“Are you OK? I can take care of this, Jill. Really.” I said before she handed me the text – a nice reference for our field in general. One I’ve considered buying, but decided was too expensive. I opened the cover to see 3 lines of writing. The first was Winnie’s name. I didn’t keep it open long enough to read the rest.
“I don’t know if I can keep this.” I said softly, heart aching abruptly and intensely, cradling the book to my chest and rubbing my fingers over the spine. “You should give it to someone.”
“I just did.” She said, looking up to meet my eyes. “Is there anyone else you’d like to give it to?”
“No.” I said softly, still holding it, “I’d like to have it.”
Then I excused myself and wept in the bathroom for a minute. Jill cried several times in the office during the day, once in front of Friend.
“Is she upset you’re in there?” She asked at one point in the afternoon. I took a much needed break and we went to Target then got lunch. We returned to go to a seminar (after which I asked for the definition to the word that the distinguished speaker used most often in his talk – I didn’t know what the hell he was trying to tell me) then she helped me put together the filing cabinet I’d purchased.
“I need more drawers!” I insisted – to more than one person, actually. And while Boss thought he could find something around the office, I impatiently decided to purchase my own.
After we returned to campus, I asked Friend to hold the doors for me as I carried the heavy box to my new office. Right after she said, “don’t drop that on me” as she was located 4 steps below, I lost my grip and the box tumbled toward her. She stopped it with her foot while I stood there, initially horrified, then wondering seriously if she could just shove it down the rest of the way. But I carefully clung to the box after picking it up and made it the rest of the way.
She did about 60%-70% of the work, though I felt I put forth a respectable effort in putting it together. We struggled hardest with getting the drawers in. She laughed at me when I couldn’t get them to rest properly, then I was vindicated when she ended up getting one stuck.
“They should just slide in.” She said, retrieving the directions to see if there was a picture of sliding the drawers in.
“You know, the piece labeled L is on the right side of the cabinet. I think the sides are on backward. Or it’s upside down.” I noted as I peered inside.
Then I fit the drawer in – upside down – and looked up at her.
“Well,” Friend said, “we can undo some of those screws and fix it.”
“I’m just flipping it over.” I said, completely serious. It was hot in that room. I was exhausted and sore. I was done.
“Then the little feet will be on top.” She said, and I believe she was laughing by this time.
“Yep.” I said, turning it over, easily sliding in the drawers, then placing my printer between the small white feet on each corner.
I giggle even now as I think about it. Two of us – both highly educated in the sciences, both having built cheap furniture before – created something that was actually quite stable (kudos to Friend – one of my desk organizers is pretty useless since it’s too unstable to let the drawers slide in and out), but the top was on the bottom of this new creation.
So I’ll take the sad – even the African violet the Jill brought in. It used to belong to Winnie and she wanted it to be returned to the office. I think it upsets her to have it on her desk. So I’ll take care of it. (And if anyone has advice on how to make a violet thrive, please let me know) – with the silly. I needed a change at work, so I think this is good.
Boss found a perfect filing cabinet for under my desk, so the purchased (thrown down stairs and feet on top) one can sit proudly next to my chair. My stuff looks at home there. I’m more organized now than I was before – I actually thought about where to put things and found some books and files I’d been wondering about.
It seems like this should be a better story, but honestly? I’m just so tired. There aren't all that many days where I can say I laughed and cried at work, but today happens to be one of them.