My outside office has been burgled twice in the last week. The vandals, singular or plural, may be the same ones, either returning to complete the job of completely trashing the joint, or lying low somewhere, behind a bookshelf perhaps to continue with their self-imposed task of shredding, destroying and leaving their foot prints on every clean piece of paper they can find.
I thought I’d chased him/her/them out on Friday night when I was first aware of the burglar alarm flashing on the outside of my little office building and going to investigate. My first response was the common one to home invasion, a stunned incomprehension at the discovery of mess and damage followed by the slow processing of what must have happened.
The light shades were down on the floor, indeed the flexes completely sheered off, the blind ripped torn and broken and there was ankle-deep litter around my feet. The computer screen at a crazy angle, the printer chattering away to itself.
And then I saw the burglar in a panicky streak of grey fur, the giveaway bushy tail, the small, dark eyes liquid with fear. I left the door open and retired to the house to them make good their escape.
Steeling myself I went to tidy up this morning, and just as I was binning showers of paper from the floor, I saw Squirrel Nutkin again, racing around the room at eye level in an extraordinary Grand Prix hysteria. I left the door open and hoped that this time they have the sense to leave and not come back. We’ll see.
And I’m left with a strange mixture of feelings. Affront at the invasion of a private space. Sadness in the face of destruction. Boredom at the need to tidy up and make good. Irritation at the cost of a new printer.
But there are little shreds of optimism that this might all be a good thing in the long run. An opportunity to reorganise the little room and make it work more efficiently for me.
I’m writing this at the kitchen table on my laptop. At first it’s not the right place, not as quiet, not as organised or as dedicated to writing. But the thing that will carry me through is my need to write, my need to create.
And writing is my home, and nomad that I am, that will be wherever I wish it to be!