A few years ago, I gave my desk to JB because he needed space to put his first computer, acquired from IB, who used the money toward the purchase of a new laptop. I offered to build a desk for myself in my studio.
About 20 years ago, JB found this desk in an alley. Some company was throwing it out because one of its legs, which was sitting in the alley next to it, had broken off. He put the desk in our red Toyota truck with the help of the guy who put it in the alley and brought it home. He easily repaired it and presented it to me as a gift.
JB is presently moving his studio in the house to the room that used to be IB’s. He wants his computer down there too—which is all to say, I have my desk back. In fact, I am typing this post at the desk right now. It’s nice to be back at its wide expanse. I’ll be able once again to grade all my papers here too. I just spent some time polishing the wood, solid mahogany, and cleaning out the drawers. This desk is from a period of time long ago when a large desk broadcasted importance. It is 33″ deep, about 60″ long. To the right, there is a shelf that can be pulled up and lifted (with great effort) that was meant to hold a large and heavy typewriter. To the left are three drawers and another smaller, lighter shelf that can be pulled out for extra table space. The drawer in the center has circular holders built in (see photo above). The desk was made in Chicago, sporting a fancy gilded label. In another of the drawers is a paper taped to the side advertising Avant Garde Security Services with a crossed out phone number replaced in pen with another number.
At this desk I have spent most of my teaching years grading papers and preparing for classes. I did most of my graduate work here too. My first computer, that boxy Apple that I bought from a friend, sat on this desk connected to a very loud printer that shook the whole house each time the inking mechanism moved across the page.
So I’m back at the desk, up in the library, and I guess I hadn’t really realized how much I had missed it, how much comfort I felt staring at its grain when I was thinking. Sitting here is like being reunited with an old friend, with plenty of room to hold me and my musings.