Odds and ends

There’s something about Mondays that makes me want to make things orderly.

It makes its way to my list: clean desk. There are old napkins stuffed in a dirty  mug and a fork that I forgot to wash and crumbs under the keyboard and police reports from Friday and a notebook flipped open to the last quote I used and it all needs straightened.

My list is made up of small details: people to call, just to check on various statuses. Editors to talk with about possible stories. Criminal complaints to type and store somewhere other than my desk surface. Photo assignments to make. Stories to set up for later in the week.

That’s fairly typical for me. I love lists, watching lines cross through completed tasks. And a clean desk is a great way to see what needs to be done now, today.

Apparently it’s not just me.

I had a busy deadline morning typing obituaries that just kept coming so I hardly looked around but when 9:30 rolled around, when I came up for air, I saw his desk was cleared, too.

It won’t stay that way for long. Styrofoam coffee cups from Sheetz always gather, and scraps of paper and notebooks and newspapers and such build up until there’s a sloppy, sliding wall between us that threatens to tumble off if I brush too close to it.

Just this morning I noticed it was starting to encroach on my space, pushed back tentatively at it.

But to start this week the wall is down, both his desk and mine are cleared.

And there are a multitude of lines through little odds-and-ends tasks on my Monday To Do list.


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