The Black Hole has become an obsession. Knowing that Tree Guy will show up again to set off some more of those brush piles, it seemed a good idea to get into some long-closed file cabinets in there. Much of the paperwork had to do with my transcription business. Confidentiality is a major concern in medical records, so nothing with patient names could just be put in the trash. A burn pile is the perfect solution for disposal, and transcription work was easily weeded out.
As for the rest, it was like opening a time capsule. There were the transcripts from some college classes: the welding class I took when I opened the muffler shop; the construction codes class from when I got interested in becoming a building inspector. I found a copy of the vows spoken with Steve, as well as the prolific lists made in preparation for our wedding. A couple of newsletters announcing my promotions in a company I worked for in the 1990s, as well as a memo to the hospitals in which I consulted in the early 1980s. I kept a copy of a well-written paper by my daughter for a college English class. There was the invitation we sent out for our Millennium Party, including the request for items for the real time capsule we buried in the yard on January 1, 2000. Vet bills for long-gone furry friends. A folder of correspondence with a pen-pal in England (in the days when people actually wrote letters).
I was ruthless. Two cabinet drawers are completely empty. I really didn't need to keep the records of oil changes for a vehicle I haven't owned for years. There are bags and bags of fuel for the fire. One drawer is still full of those things, those faces, places and times I can't yet let go. And there is one drawer I wasn't able to pry open. It's another time capsule that will have to wait for another day.