I used to go to the thrift shop quite a bit in the hopes that I’d find some sort of treasure. I’ve found a few over the years and have loved them all.
This time I found a desk that needed to come home with me. She isn’t all that pretty; most of her paint has been chipped away from the top of the desk where countless wrists and arms once rested, her color is reminiscent of an old sepia movie that’s been tarnished with olive green, and the fixtures are from an era that has little hope of ever returning. There is a lock on one drawer, but no key.
I’ve argued with my son about this desk. We’ve been packing and planning to move across the country for a while and are getting closer to that day. And I stand firm that this desk is coming with me. I’ll give up my bed frame before giving up this desk. That sounds silly, I know, but I have loved her since the day I saw her in the shop and insisted that she would fit in the back of the Pacifica (she did, but just barely). We’ve come to the agreement that the moving truck we rent will be big enough for all of our things. Including my lovely desk.
She is meant to be mine. I can see the beauty she still holds in her strength and her stability. She has drawers that are a full thirty inches long and have wood dividers far enough back that it looks like the drawer has ended, until you pull further to see if the locking pins are in place. There are 2 slide-out surfaces for when you need a little more space to set things, even though the main surface is fifty-five by thirty-one inches. She weighs enough that I cannot lift one end for longer than a moment while moving her from one room to another and would struggle greatly to move her by myself. There is no groaning or creaking when I’ve stood atop her to hang something on the walls or windows. One of her drawers is meant for paper and small items and it holds several of my coloring pages. This drawer has the few bottles of nail polish I own and various tools and trinkets that I use almost daily. This one has my sheets of beeswax and my flower press. That one contains lots of little things that don’t have a place of their own while the one just beneath it has yarn and a couple knitting projects. Each drawer has a scented candle and a stick of incense so that she smells like a Witch’s desk.
I’ve taken time to get to know her. I’ve dreamed of new knitting patterns while drumming my fingers on her surface. I’ve messed up some watercolor paintings so badly that they looked like muddy blobs and she still has spatters of white and silver paint that I flicked onto the papers to try and make them salvageable (they weren’t). I marked a rudimentary ruler so that I can check my scarf or shawl lengths quickly. I’ve enjoyed meals and have tolerated meals while resting my feet on the footrest that’s built into her frame. I’ve cried over movies and books, I’ve puzzled over Tarot and oracle readings, I’ve spilled coffee and Kahlua. I’ve taken the time to type out, point by point, why someone was wrong in their refusal to see the rampant racism in the world. And, I’ve taken time to do the same while explaining to someone that I deserved to be treated as more than an “arm’s length” secondary thought and that I deserve the same rights as any other human regardless of who I might love. I’ve written of my dreams and my history and my sorrows, I’ve shared my anger and frustration. I’ve made new friends, let go of others, and have researched myriad topics.
I love this desk. One day I’ll sand down the old paint and bring her natural wood to the surface again. And I’ll continue sharing so much of my life with her steadfast support.