Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I let myself into the office and walk around Daniel’s immaculate, clean and extremely modern, almost-too-modern-for-my-taste office. The chairs around the conference table are molded plastic, the look like art sold in SoHo stores, adorning a glass table suspending on thin metal legs. Adjacent to the conference area are two square shaped camel colored Italian leather chairs, flanking an animal print rug, huddled in front of a non-working fireplace. 

Daniel’s desk, located across the room, is a long, wide, massive, but made of a light-weight material – so it floats under piles of papers and the computer. Along three sides of the Daniel’s office are built in drawers and shelves. The storage space doors are smooth, and blend into the wall. You need to look closely to realize there are cupboards behind the wall.

On the other side of his office is where I sit in reception, under a pyramid shaped skylight, which is great since there is no natural sunlight other than what will shine down on to me. I am worried about it leaking rain on my head during a storm and beating a hot heat on my head in summer. But right now, in March, it looks and feels nice. There are two Wassily chairs in the lobby for guests to sit on while they wait for Daniel. Then just to the right of me is the small kitchenette with a Nespresso maker, Breville tea pot that brews water into hot in 90 seconds, sink, counter tops and a small stainless steel fridge. Daniel has told me he ordered a microwave and it is coming soon. He has only been in this space about four months. The bathroom has a fancy towel racks, faucet, sink and toilet. The entire 1000 square foot office space is light, heavenly and divine.

Daniel is not in rght now, so I hang my coat in the closet, stow my purse under the desk and get to my first assignment. Organizing Daniel. I open his file lateral file cabinets and one by one find all eight to be in disarray. Actually, disarray is an understatement. MESS more like. His personal papers are mixed with work papers, his Park Avenue apartment papers are interspersed with his Hampton House papers. I cannot figure out why he has five sets of current Con Edison bills – because I am pretty sure that he does not have six residences in the City; and why he is paying car payments on a Toyota because he drives a Range Rover and an Aston Martin.

For a fleeting second I wonder if he has mistresses, but he is s sprightly petite man who dons well tailored clothes, even his casual clothes are custom made. I know this sounds naïve, but I just don’t a cheating husband vibe from him.

Oh boy. For a moment I sort out my thoughts and decide the way to start is pull everything out of one drawers and begin putting it all into piles by category -- all Con Ed bills regardless of account number go in one pile, call car payments for all three cars go into another, all insurance policies go into another, etc. I do this for a few hours until I am surrounded by towering piles of bills. From behind the piles I hear the door open. I hear footsteps enter, the closet door open and Daniel clears his throat.

“Desi Girl are you back there?” he asks. He is Middle-Eastern and has an accent. He’s about 60 and in some ways reminds of me of Dad. Determined, plucky, entrepreneurial.  “Yes,” I reply. He laughs a little and says, “It took me years to make this mess, I hope it doesn’t take you as long to clean it up.” Amen, I think. Amen!

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