This week I am allowed access to my office for 30 minutes to collect some books and personal items.  Staying to do some work is strictly banned so I avoid the urge to sit down at my desk and turn my attention instead to the bookshelves  where my books stand in their spots like old friends. I turn the pages of a few, remembering  their weight, the different feel of the paper in each, I glance at contents, run my finger down an index and read the annotated notes I’ve left here and there in the margins. I turn to inserted bookmarks reminding me that something here is interesting or useful, or that I must read this at some point in the future. I return each to its place and pack a bag with the necessary for the next few months. The office is hot, it  faces the afternoon sun. I expect my plants will be dead and laugh aloud to find that five out of six have survived since early March without water or company. I take them to the sink where the coffee mugs and spoons from months past still lie on the drainer, and give them a soaking. Packing what I need I regretfully lock up. This was a good place. I wonder when we will return. On the way out I read the names of my colleagues on the doors as I pass. See you next week I think, on-line, in a different space, not here.

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