A week later, intrigued by Jack Berens’ impassioned speech at the restaurant and pushed by Carrie’s prompting, Kathleen walked in the door of his newspaper.
The office was located in the heart of Uptown Sedona, smack in the middle of tourist traffic and next door to one of the Jeep tour offices. On the south side of the Chronicle office were several shops sporting postcards of the red rocks, Sedona T-shirts, cactus jelly, and fake rattlesnake eggs.
As Kathleen stepped inside and closed the door behind her, she noticed the small working space. Four desks with computers filled the area, each desk facing into the middle of the room. A fifth desk butted up against the wall had a tilted top and was littered with scraps of paper. That was where the weekly newspaper was pasted together and readied for the printer.
Toward the back of the room, a partition stood, separating what Kathleen guessed to be the bathroom from the office area. A glass door on the right led to an outside deck.
Berens looked up from his computer and smiled at Kathleen. She saw he was dressed in a T-shirt and cutoff jeans. He was barefoot.
“Working on Saturday?” she asked as she settled into a hard chair in front of his desk.
“Oh, I work seven days a week, 18 hours a day.” He rubbed his hand through his balding red hair, took off his glasses and cleaned them on the bottom of his shirt. His face was ordinary, but he was filled with nervous energy. A part of his body always seemed to be moving.
“Why?” Kathleen asked, wondering if he had any home life.
“This business is my soul.”
Kathleen laughed. “Well, I’ve known driven journalists before, but never to that extent.”
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