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  • Writer's pictureJeff South

Blogtober 2021: Quill


My home office setup iss perfect. Laptop in the center of the desk and one large monitor to my left and another to my right. My sit/stand desk holds all three perfectly while a second desk to left gives me an optimal L-shape arrangement. An ergonomic chair gives my back the best support for those long days sitting in front of screens.

How did people function in offices prior to computers, email, and the internet? I wouldn't have fared well in the days of quill pens and parchment paper.

Yes, this home office is coming together nicely. The bookshelves give it that old school scholarly den feel and the turntable is there to play all my favorite vinyl, as it is now. Carole King's Tapestry album softly fills the room with the perfect mood music for this rainy day. Our dog Daisy sleeps in the doorway. If only I could train her to fetch me snacks and drinks from downstairs, this would be perfect.


"Way Over Yonder," a song either about heaven or finding personal inner peace depending on my mood, ends, and Side One comes to a close. In the moment it takes to move from the desk to the shelf housing the turntable a thousand thoughts of the seeming impossibility of finding inner peace rushes about my mind. I pick up the album sleeve and read the lyrics to the song.

I know when I get there

The first thing I'll see

Is the sun shining golden

Shining right down on me

Then trouble's gonna lose me

Worry leave me behind

And I'll stand up proudly

In true peace of mind

Sounds lovely.

I sigh and flip the record over and start to drop the needle onto Side Two when a whisper stops me. Breathy. Almost imperceptible. Daisy raises her head sharply and stares out the doorway down the hall.

"Did you hear it, too, girl?"

I stand motionless, listening. The dog looks back at me with searching eyes and I shrug. Guess that's all we're going to hear. I turn back to the record when the whisper comes again. This time I can almost make out words. Daisy stands at attention now, peering down the hallway. I swallow hard and step away from the turntable. Inching closer to the doorway I call out to see if anyone is there even though that makes zero sense. First of all, no one should be there. I am home alone, after all, so no one should be answering back. Second, what exactly will my response be if someone is there? What is my plan? My usual response in the face of fear is to scream. I feel no shame in that, either.

"Hello?" I call out.

Another whisper.


What is it saying, though? My chest tightens and heart thumps. The whisper is more articulate as I reach the doorway. I stop and freeze when I hear its message.

"There are no good things."

Maybe some Huey Lewis and the News is in order.

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