desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world

Day 8: 'on my desk'

Is the desk a metaphor for life?

My work desk and cubicle are spartan in the extreme. Apart from the company-issued equipment for the job, I've decorated with one photograph in a frame (which is required) and a sticky note left by a former colleague. It doesn't look so empty most of the time--well, some of the time--because the job tends to pile up and take up the space remaining. But by comparison to my coworkers, it looks like I've yet to move in. 

Or like I'm moving out. 

I've been like this for a while. When I'm ready to be done, then I move toward that ending right away, before taking all the steps necessary to get there. I did it in my marriage (very little) and at the library (a whole lot) and with Nick (the Village Idiot) and now at the current job. There are also lots of smaller examples in between. It's not quite as sordid or crafty as it sounds, and maybe everyone does it and I just don't see the trait in anyone but me. 

I'm no stranger to keeping up appearances, and behaving like a professional in an environment that does not foster those feelings. I ought to be better capable of maintaining the persona until the very end. I should try harder to make the desk reflect the perception that I'm trying to keep up, a while longer.

And my home desk, too--is that a metaphor? It was purchased from TechLine Furniture in A2, just up and around the block from the Kaplan center. I got "the little one" and my former spouse got "the big one" (his desk was, therefore, a foot longer and six inches deeper than mine). It was typical of us to go from having none of something to having two of it, and fancy, and in an awkward permutation.

The desk is two planks at a right angle for each leg, with one plank across as a top. Maple veneer. Heavy as hell and hard to maneuver because of the angles. It's been broken (the legs from the top) a couple of times during moves, and this time around required a whole complex shoring-up process in order to take any weight on top. 

And so, it's been rebuilt...in the room where it's currently located. While planning this post, I realized that I'm not entirely certain that I can get it out of the room without disassembling it again. Which will be seriously annoying. But, hey, what's new? Since I bought it, it's been moved 
1. from the store to the apartment on WH Dr
2. from WH Dr to R St
3. from R St to KB Ct
4. from KB Ct to R Dr
5. from R Dr to S St
6. from S St to DK Ave
7. from DK Ave to M Ln
8. from M Ln to G Dr
9. from G Dr to W L (storage)
10. from W L (storage) to W (storage)
11. from W (storage) to its current location
(I wouldn't have believed all that either--and those "moves" are not all the moves that I've made, only those that this particular piece of furniture made!)

I used to use that desk every day. At some stages, I sat there for the majority of my waking hours. Drafting my thesis, sending email, doing research, poking around on FB, writing several thousand blog posts, typing papers for classes and letters to friends...working my way through a number of computers, working the finish off of a couple of areas when I was in "no mousepad" mode. 

Now, it's more of a staging area. I have a few works in progress set up there--photo sorting, a gift that I've been working on for a while, a small file of financial documents, and the eventual phasing out of my desktop computer. My new camera is there, too, newly arrived from the coast. If I actually needed to sit down and work at the desk, I'd need to move at least half of that off before I could start. 

Is it another metaphor? 
Disorder, multitasking, keeping busy. 
A return to the artistic. 
Generosity, and connection, and replacing the old with something new.

[the title quotation is by John le Carré]

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