It had so much potential, this basement office of mine — rocky walls, a custom-built partition, multiple computers, a television, a powerful sound system. This was to be my lair, my den, my staging ground in my never-ending battle for truth and justice.
And yet, as I write this, my feet are planted on an extension cord heaped on the floor, hopelessly tangled with a speaker cable. On my left is a pile of important papers, topped with a used granola bar wrapper. Behind me is a piano bench, which I brought down here for repairs at least nine months ago. It now supports: A box of envelopes, a file of our 2006 charitable donations, a hairdryer, a barbecue grilling kit, tips for beating MegaMan 5, and a tall stack of newspapers containing articles by me that need clipping for my portfolio.
You might believe it looks like this simply because I’m a slob, but in my defense there are several mitigating factors. One is that both computers down here are pitifully outdated (the newest is around eight years old); I almost always use my wife’s much newer, faster, less crash-prone computer upstairs instead. And because I never have much incentive to come down here and actually work, I tend to use it more as a dumping ground than a workspace.
Also, the office area is close to my basement workshop area, which is also a disaster but is located farther away from the stairs. So, naturally, when I need to return a tool to the basement, I save myself the trouble of walking all the way to the workshop by adding it to a pile in the office.
All of which is a long way of saying: My office looks like this because I’m a slob.
I still hold out hope that it can be saved. All I need to do is clean up these cords on the floor, repair the piano bench, sort through several years of tax returns, Crunchable articles, notebooks, newspaper clippings …
If anybody needs me, I’ll be on the back porch.