About the desk trip — it’s really a time trip, but the portal is my desk. Something about being at a desk puts me in a trance, puts me in the zone, and the next thing I know I’m tripping through time and once again swept up in the never-ending story of it all. I sit at the one I have now every day, sometimes staring into space, daydreaming, or crossing my arms on it in front of me, to put my head down for a rest, and I think of sweltering Spring mid-afternoon “naps” in Catholic elementary school. Those nuns were on to something, you know? Siesta.
My mother’s been resting now in her forever plot for seven years today, and I think about her.
She bought me my first desk, an unfinished desk that she finished in an antique off-white she was so fond of in her early furniture refinishing days. How she must have worked on that desk, thinking of how excited I’d be when I saw it. How she even managed all of what she did with the four of us girls, over the years. At that time we were all under the age of almost six. She got me that desk for my sixth birthday, my dad away at sea a lot in those years (Cuban Missile Crisis, Bay of Pigs, Suez Canal, Mediterranean, supposed to be gone for two weeks on one “tour” only to have it stretch into two months).
Years later, I remember her telling me how I cried because she got me a desk for that birthday. Six years old. What six year old wants a desk, right? My twenty-six year old mother had to have been misinformed, surely? But then she had nothing to go on really, her own mother having died when she was seven, before she’d even had a chance to cry over much of anything yet.
I did some of my best daydreaming in school at a desk, and a lot of that as I’ve grown older has turned into some of my best writing, as well as some of my worst. It feels good to sit at this designated place where I gather my thoughts, make my lists and give my brain a rest from trying to remember it all. It turns out not only do I WANT a desk, but I NEED a desk — even if it’s only a tray in my lap. So thanks, Mom, for that first desk. And Mom? Just so you know, I still have it — it sits in the basement holding my laundry supplies.