My first official day on the Herald staff was yesterday, and I was the last person in the office. I take a lot of pride in this fact: I had an unfinished article to perfect, so I stayed behind like a good new recruit to get the job done. At 11 p.m. I resolved my last comment, folded my Macbook, and stretched in my broken swivel chair, fingertips brushing the article gallery glued lovingly onto the walls.
We’d learned earlier in the evening that the Herald office was being repossessed for shelving space. The editors-in-chief, neither of whom I had met yet, called a circle in the center of our overstuffed office, breaking the news with a sentimental yet puckish kind of humor that I’m learning is quintessentially Herald. Twenty sets of eyes glazed over the wood pulp walls, at the Redbull-stained carpet and odd, dated mementos: look, here is a folded takeout menu from ’87, and here, initials penned in the Y2K era, black sharpie on scratched, faded desktop.
When it was just me left in the moonstruck building, I went on a scavenger hunt. The news was upsetting, of course—I already loved the Herald office—but it was still only my second time there. I wanted to commit the space to memory before I lost the chance, cramming what should have been four years of inspiration and community into a thirty-minute walk.
I was wandering aimlessly from room to room when a familiar number on the wall caught my eye. It was a minigolf sheet from 2004, the year I was born. Champions’ names proudly beamed down from the wall, passing down yet another story for the writers and editors and designers to come.
I felt very young, standing there, and very, very warm. It was as if the Herald legacies were reaching through time, summoned from the walls to welcome their newest member.
Now, I’m devastated. When my time comes, I won’t be able to do the same.