The Denouement

It’s starting to seem real.


It’s been two weeks since the final Late Show.   It was a moment I had been kicking down the road for over a year, so even though it was the last show, the fact that I would be in the next day and the day after that eased the pain and allowed another kick of the can.  On Thursday, the day after the final, I was busy all day packing and taping boxes and making last-second trips to the end of the hall to see what other staffers were throwing out.  I ended up with a lot more CDs than I expected.   When my daughters saw all the CDs, they told me no one uses CDs anymore.  I know that’s true for albums, but CDs?   I’m afraid I’m never going to catch up.


I could have finished all I had to do on Thursday but, why?  I dragged my feet to make sure I’d have to come in another day.  The mood on Friday?  It seemed like the last day of college.   People were heading for home at different times with goodbyes aplenty and I realizing that it would be my turn eventually.   And I kept putting it off, kept delaying my departure because when I said “goodbye” there would be no more road for me to kick the can.


On Friday to kill time in the morning, I scraped off the nameplates by each door and placed it on the desk chairs.   The nameplate would be something many would want but forget to take.  I took a couple trips to the stage to see the demolishing progressing much faster than anyone expected.   It was sad so I didn’t remain for long.   I walked the halls and realized I was one of the last ones still in the building even though it was just past noon.   It felt like the last day of college; it felt like the final episode of M*A*S*H*. We were all leaving in all different directions to place all across the country; the future for almost all still unknown.   Every half hour or so I would take another box to the car but I was in no hurry.   And then with nothing left to beg, borrow, or steal, I took the last box from my office in my arms.  I looked left, I looked right.  There was no one else to say goodbye to.   It was just me.  Mommy!


Down on the street I found a staffer still milling about.  He had a big stack of stuff piled in front of the building and looking to get home.   On the top of the pile was a lampshade.   As I am known to do at the end of many parties, I took the lampshade and put it on my head, then danced a little dance.   It was funny and sad, just like me at the end of most parties.   I put my last box in the car and I headed for home.  So this was it . . . . but  . . . . the Late Show is usually off leading into Memorial Day and off the following, too.   I could pretend this wasn’t really the end.   I could pretend another week.  There was more road to kick the can.


It’s now a week later.  I get up mornings and still listen to the traffic report on the radio over coffee.       I smile when it leads with the George Washington Bridge.


I’ve watched some of the late night talks shows, and like dating relationships, I find I don’t like games.



  1. Helen Read · June 5, 2015

    As a longtime viewer, it is finally starting to feel real to me too. For the first week or so I had occasional moments of confusion when the DVR did not kick on at 11:35 PM to record Dave, and there was no recording waiting for me to watch when I got home the next night.


  2. Mike B. · June 30, 2015

    Thank you for the nameplate, good sir! Love having it, and would have completely forgotten to take it. Well done!


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