Three days a week I go into the office where I tend to the things I'm paid to tend to and interact with people I actually enjoy interacting with. Until I got my present job three years ago, I'd drawn pretty clear lines about socializing with the people I worked with. Work is work and my life is my life and rarely did the two intersect. There were exceptions, of course, but for the most part I was a pretty private person at work. But the people I work with now are incredible and I enjoy spending time with them. I love my work and don't dread going there. I was ill-suited for my last job––I loathed it, in fact––and the sound of the alarm going off each morning was almost more than I could bear. But now when the alarm goes off I don't think, "I don't want to go to work," I think, "I don't want to get out of bed." But once I am up and on my way I actually find myself looking forward to the time I spend there. I am fortunate to finally be one of those people who loves what they do.
It would be easy to pick a place to post about that I share with Duncan but anyone who reads this blog would probably be able to draw a map of the places we frequent, from the park to the lake, the dog park to Hero's Pets, and all the places in between. But I've never really talked about work and where it is I go when I'm not spending time with Roo.
My office is the first on the left when you come through the door. I share it with Ben and almost as soon as we moved in together someone posted a picture of The Odd Couple on the window outside our office. Ben is much too young to get the joke and even after we explained it he seemed unimpressed. I'm Felix to his Oscar apparently; he's a jock and spends much of the day listening to sports talk radio on his headphones while I have somehow earned the reputation of being the fastidious one, which couldn't be further from the truth. One has only to look at my desk at home, or my closet, or my bookshelves, to find the proof. But we get along well and spend much of the day taking pot shots at each other. I enjoy Ben and although he wouldn't admit it, he probably doesn't mind spending time with me either.
My desk is probably not the most professional in the office. Last Thanksgiving when we held a turkey bowling event I protested by making a sign which reads, "Bake don't bowl." It hangs in the corner above the bulletin / dry-erase board I have yet to discover a practical use for, aside from holding the copy of How to Speak Wookiee my mother gave me for Christmas two years ago. For a time I kept my Star Wars action figures there but they kept falling so I moved them down below, propped against the wall.
Two years ago Duncan and I narrowly avoided being hit in the parking lot when a woman backed up without looking at us. I yanked Dunc out of the way but was struck and knocked into a parked car (all of this the morning before my grandfather passed away, which was also the day I got the most severe food poisoning I've ever had). I was lucky in that I wasn't injured so much as bruised and shaken up but when I returned to work my friend Lisa had left me a recreation of the event, complete with a small, red dog, a Lego Han Solo laying flat on his back, police tape, and a Hot Wheels car. It is one of my most prized possessions and I've taken great care to preserve it as it was presented to me.
In the corner behind it there's a small Zen water fountain, a frame with photos of my family, friends, and the cats, a wonderful piece of art my friend Denise made for me, a digital scale for the shipping I occasionally tend to, and a lamp which gets far too hot. The fountain, the newest addition, has a light that glows as water drips down on three separate tiers, and rocks that I get to arrange as I like. It's cheap and maybe a little tacky but the sound of the water bubbling is soothing and keeps me focused throughout the day.
Above my desk there are a couple of locking shelves where I keep my personal items as well as snacks and the best damn tape gun in the world. I haven't quite figured out what to do with them so I put up a quote I liked from a Ted Talk I listened to along with a couple of pieces of art my boss's daughter drew for me for my birthday.
There's another lamp on the other side of the desk, near my computer where I sit, along with a sinking Titanic, a postcard from Metropolis, Illinois with a picture of Superman, the origami Star Wars pod racer my friend Sean and I constructed on New Year's Eve, a framed photo of Duncan and me that my sister took, and a large Superman action figure given to me by my godson, Elijah. Everyone thinks I'm a Superman fan, and I am, but Batman is the real hero in my book, I just haven't been able to find a cool enough action figure to put up. I look every time I go to Target, though.
The truth is that while I spend a large portion of those three days at the office away from Roo, he's never out of sight. He goes with me everywhere.
And while I sit at my desk answering emails, talking with instructors and students on the phone, and joking with Ben, Duncan is always looking back at me from the wallpaper on my computer monitor.
Duncan is present in all my important places. And I wouldn't have it any other way.