the desk

I wandered, browsing as I walked. I wasn’t really looking for anything. Just looking. I strolled down the stairs, and as I came around the corner, I saw it. The desk. Scratched and dusty, it looked like life had been hard on this beautiful black desk. It wobbled a little as I touched it. I ran my fingers across its surface, leaving streaks in its protective coating of dirt. Stickers dotted across it announced a price of $40.

Most people probably saw the scratches and walked away. Usually I see scratches and I think about a way to cover them up. But not this time. This time, I actually liked the scratches. Scratches and nicks are life. Heaven knows if I were a piece of furniture, I’d have plenty of scratches.

I had a desk already. One that functioned just fine. And our tiny, one bedroom apartment is not lacking in furniture. So, like a practical person, I bought a few books from the thrift store and left the desk.

But it didn’t leave me.

It hung around in my head, plaguing me. I wanted that desk. Or maybe it wanted me. Either way, it felt like we were meant for each other. The writer trying to find her way. The desk that was battered and bruised.

A few days later, we went back. I’m a lucky girl to have such an understanding husband. It’s not often that I feel compelled to buy something. Sure, I buy things, but mostly just things I/we need. I’m fantastic at admiring something beautiful and then putting it back and walking away. But occasionally something grabs me and doesn’t let go. And he realizes it’s a rare and meaningful occurrence, that man I married.

It was still there, the desk. Standing against a pillar, waiting for me. We dismantled it, fit it in Luna (my lovely hatchback), and brought it home. I gave it a good cleaning as we put Humpty Dumpty back together again and found a place for it.

The scratches and nicks are unhidden, serving as a daily reminder that we all fall. We all get scratched up and bruised. We all get a little dusty and dirty. But that doesn’t make us, or my desk, any less beautiful.


  1. natalie
    Feb 12, 2012 @ 15:47:46

    Ah, yes. When i was between 6 and 8 i had an obsession over cat stuffed animals…I’d see one…(one time it was even a really ugly one with a huge head and little body)…especially with that one i was like Oh it’s so cute!
    Grandma replys, “Wouldn’t you prefer to get a cute one?”
    I say, “No, i feel bad for that one!”
    Us authors always want the STRANGEST sadest looking things!


  2. halee
    Feb 12, 2012 @ 16:35:53

    I don’t think it’s necessarily a writer thing. That sounds more like compassion to me, which is found in all kinds of people.

    But in my case, I didn’t feel bad for the desk at all. I felt an affinity for it, a kinship almost. And it’s actually quite a beautiful desk, not strange looking at all.


  3. natalie
    Feb 12, 2012 @ 22:02:58

    Haha yeah childhood compassion. That’s cool you got a new desk though!


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