My writing desk has been through war with me. It has seen the best and worst parts of me. It has stuck with me through thick and thin, through victory and defeat, each and every win and loss. It quietly just is, it never judges.
It is a cheap, beat up piece of furniture that has become it staple of both the room it occupies and my life as a whole. It’s where I drink my morning coffee, where my best work is done and where I reflect each night. It’s where I write.
The desk itself was given to me by my Dad when I was eleven or twelve. It’s a simple brown computer desk with two side compartments originally intended for storing CD’s, as if it’s scrapes and gashes weren’t enough to let you know how old and outdated it is. I have since covered up the face of those two side compartments with pictures of people who motivate me. Writers, rappers, businessmen and entertainers who came from nothing and built empires off a foundation that began with the craft of writing. The top is plastered with photos of loved ones who have passed, the mass cards from their viewings and other pictures that are close to my heart.
The bottom left shelf, where the “tower” of a traditional desktop computer would typically go — is filled with dozens of my old notebooks. Many are from high school, most are at least a decade old. The majority are filled with rap lyrics I would write during class in high school out of boredom. I basically never open them yet I still treasure them, they are a wonderful memento.
On the much larger shelf next to that I keep the few actual paperback books I own. I’ve mentioned before how ashamed of this I am but because I have a flawlessly economic strategy for acquiring e-books through Google Play via the google rewards app, I essentially never buy paperbacks. However, the few I do own are kept on that shelf on my writing desk, along with an old school dictionary I stole from my Alma Mater during my misguided youth. Along with a few shoe boxes filled with old letters and ticket stubs from concerts and sporting events. Little pieces of me and the life I’ve led. I guess I’m sentimental.
During my time as a general contractor we often would have to do clean outs of houses and apartments where people left a lot of their belongings. A benefit to the job was being able to keep any cool stuff we found, granted it wasn’t something my boss wanted. I would keep any spiritual or religious things I found, little crosses and rosaries and etc. Not because I’m religious, just because really. I started a collection of sorts and have found a spot for all of them on different areas of the desk. Many of them are draped over this ceramic gargoyle I bought at a flea market as a kid that is sitting on the top shelf of the desk. Next to that is the glass commemorative mug we were all given at my senior prom, I have it filled with pens and highlighters. One of the religious items I found at work and kept is a small ceramic hard clay piece that says “For God So Loved The World…”. It has a small rope attached to each top end, so it can be hung. I instead used it to hang around the neck of this $5 ceramic smiling Buddha figurine I bought at Family Dollar, to make it look like he is wearing a sign that says such. I found it funny and it’s also a way of expressing my spirituality as opposed to any one religion. I believe in the greater power of all religions.
There is a shelf that slides out for a keyboard if I had a traditional desktop computer setup as opposed to my trusty Chromebook. I instead keep open notebooks and working pens in this space, available for pull out in a moments notice if need be. Whether an idea comes to me, or I’m trying to work something out on paper first. I’ll sometimes begin writing with pen and paper but rarely do I ever complete a full draft by hand if it’s something I know I’m going to later publish.
There is a big open space in the area meant for a monitor and directly behind that space is a wall I have covered with some of the best art work and coolest pictures I could find from old CD booklets of a few of my favorite musicians. I was sick of feeling like I was staring at a blank ugly yellow wall when I was writing and couldn’t bear to throw out all of those old CD covers and booklets without at least rummaging through them and saving all the cool shit I could find first. I figured that was the best use for what I was able to salvage. It’s much more inspiring and colorful than an ugly yellow wall.
This memento piece of furniture I’ve come to love over the years and have managed to turn into a piece of artwork of sorts itself, is placed directly next to a window — one I normally keep open — even in winter. It’s invigorating and refreshing. I never know what ideas the fresh air of an in blowing breeze may bring. This window is a visual and audio monitor into the neighborhood I grew up in and still live. A reminder of the past I try to let bleed into my writing. This desk is a portal into everything I’ve been through I hope to find a way to put on paper and relive just a little through the written word.