Sweet Victory… in Paper
“Your Honor, I have in my hand…”
Much of paper’s past purpose was analog. It stored stuff. It bound human beings to legal obligations. It bore witness. Not long ago I had to be in an attorney’s office to sign countless legal forms. I brought my lucky Neenah pen.
The office was stuck in 1973. Broadloom carpet. Windowless, close-door offices. An upside down sea of fluorescent lights drained the room, leaving the hues of dead leaves and overcooked vegetables. Muzak played a Hamlisch hit, Seems Like Old Times. My foot kept time.
The attorney stepped away momentarily to retrieve more forms. I chanced a photo of the surrounding morass; a room crowded with stalagmites of yellowed paper and dog-eared folders, the forgotten twins of sibling piles moldering in drawers across town. Forensic proof. Silent, moldy, irrefutable testimony.
Paper today is often reserved for palpable connections — a way to touch people and motivate positive action. The human antidote to bloodless digital. Who keeps paper copies nowadays? Go green! Go digital! …Then I remember.
Dread creeps into my mind. I’m in agony. A disembodied voice on the line snaps her demand,Uncertain, I grow cold. My throat closes. I must find it. My life depends upon it. “Think, think, think! Where is that document? Do I even still have it?!”
Eureka. It appears to me in a vision. Truth, tucked inside a grey metal file box, in the attic, beneath a faded plastic Santa and his few remaining elves. You exhale. “Yes, I have a copy. It is in my files. I will fax it to you.”
Irrefutable evidence. Am analog savior in paper format. Sweet victory. Case closed.