I’d seen pictures of his desk, several of them. They were slightly different, but there was one thing in common with every single one. It was cluttered. Piles of files, pencils lying in constant danger of rolling off the edge, a half-empty cup of coffee or tea or maybe flat soda, a wadded up piece of paper, a stack of books, no two of them aligned at the edges. It seemed like the desk of someone who would start working on every idea that popped into his head, so he wouldn’t forgot. A person who didn’t use sticky notes or devices to help him remember. But in the most recent picture I saw of Professor West’s desk, all of that was gone. There was just one thing left on the desk, a letter addressed to someone he’d never met before in his life, and who’d never met him.
A letter addressed to me.