Meet the Press

13 03 2012

True story: 20+ years ago, I ran out from my newspaper job one afternoon to pick up my brand new city-issued PRESS credentials. On the way back to the office, I passed by a building as several cop cars pulled up. I moved closer, as they formed a perimeter and put up yellow crime scene tape. The body was covered with a sheet and nearby was a completely trashed window-washing rig that had given way from two dozen stories up.

The PRESS pass burned a hole in my pocket.

I had stumbled onto a piece of news, and was even the first one there. A young writer’s dream. A story to work as a stringer on, get an all-city byline. And yet.

I turned and headed back to the office, back to my desk, and my work as the A & E writer/editor for a business/law monthly with a readership of 25,000.

Let the dead window washer stay dead. Let his family grieve. Let the cops do their grim job uninterrupted. There were things I was ready to do in my life, and things I was not. I knew that then, and — though those things have changed in the past 20 years — I know that now.

There are stories we want in our lives, stories we think we might tell forever, others we have only a passing interest in; stories we know but may never tell, and still others we don’t even want to know. The key is in understanding which is which.

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