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4:42pm on Thursday, 23rd October, 2008:

Ghostly Presence


Because I'm only a part-time professor, I have to share my office at the university. Well, I had to share it: the person with whom I shared it retired over the summer, so I now have it to myself. There's only my name on the nameplate, which I take to be proof of this.

He was a good roomie to have: we were hardly ever in at the same time, so rarely got in each other's way. The only really awkward occasions were when I had to interview students (or prospective students) and he was in the office at the same time.

Despite the fact that he was rarely in, he nevertheless had half the real estate of the office. Now he's retired, though, I get it all. I can finally move around the furniture so the place isn't so cramped, and I can transfer some of my books from my groaning shelves to those partially-used ones.

Hmm. Those are my plans, at least. The thing is, although my roomie has left, he hasn't moved any of his stuff. It's still there, from mug to mouse mat, from books to lecture notes. Should I box them up and put them out of the way? But what about his desk and the large filing cabinet. which are locked? And I know I wouldn't like to come in one day to pick up my stuff only to find it unceremoniously dumped in a box like it was rubbish or something.

I tried to get in touch with him, but his university email doesn't work and he seems to have changed mobile phone numbers (or the university has recorded it incorrectly).

It's like I'm sharing a room with a ghost.

Referenced by Sheet Map.

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Copyright © 2008 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).