Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives

I'm sitting here at my desk, sorting out piles of papers that have been growing for the last six months. That means that I'm just now putting away the last artifacts of my relationship with Jenny. This afternoon I took the battered old dog-eared picture of her out of my wallet. It's a pretty picture, her senior picture from high school, and the only wallet-sized one she'd given me since 1996. I'd been carrying it around in my wallet for the last couple of years. Today I tucked it into an envelope, along with the last of our love letters and some wrapping paper left over from her Christmas present to me, and filed it away in the big walnut filing cabinet I keep in my room. On my computer, I have enough storage space to keep entire libraries of information, but that cabinet houses the irreplaceable stuff.

As I do this, and as I paste the ticket stubs from the last things we did together into my journal (because like a lot of webloggers, I keep a dead-tree journal as well for all the stuff that's really too hairy to go into here), I realize what I'm doing. I'm putting away the detritus of the past and moving on. Meanwhile, six thousand miles away, American forces are turning the lives of Iraqi citizens into dust. I'm starting to rebuild. I wonder when they'll be able to do the same.

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