Write in Front of Me
One of the writing exercises for my new class is to "Write in front of me." Describe what I currently see. Here it is:
Write in front of me
My desk is black. Big and black; six feet high and eight feet wide. My neat and orderly husband built it for me 5 years ago knowing full well it would be a haven for clutter. And it is.
In front of me I see my keyboard, the mouse I never use and my Wacom Intuos pen and tablet. The pen has a few teeth marks in it that line up suspiciously in the same formation as the teeth in my mouth. Sometimes it’s easier to clamp it between your teeth rather than set it down when working includes both keyboard and pen.
My Canon Rebel camera sits off to the left with its wide neck strap tangled around the cordless phone sitting upright in its charger. Trying to use either one would probably send both crashing to the floor. The zoom lens is off to the right. The beautiful red Jill E designer camera bag sits empty on the floor by my feet. Well, not exactly by my feet but where my feet are supposed to be. If I’m in my computer chair both my feet are tucked up under my butt.
There is a small stack of music CDs in behind the monitor. The thick layer of dust gives testament to the fact that CDs are fast becoming obsolete. My white iPhone cord dangles from the USB port on the front of my computer. iTunes is pumping out some music for me. Currently it’s Cheap Trick, Chris De Burgh and Leonard Cohen – I’m not sure what my music choice says about me.
Off to the right there is a mesh cup filled with pens and scissors. Behind it a box of 12 ball point pens, a Christmas gift from my 22-month-old grandson. My daughter-in-law had let him loose in the dollar store to randomly pick out gifts for people. I got pens and a pad of Post-it Notes. Someone else got salt-and-vinegar chips and a jump rope. Another got Peter Pan stickers and drywall screw fasteners.
I see a bank statement laying there in an unopened envelope. I don’t know why the bank continues to waste paper and postage. With online banking, I haven’t opened a paper statement in three years.
There’s a small green box filled with tiny shells and water eroded artifacts that my daughter brought back from Mexico last month.
There is a stapler, a water bottle lid, a tiny spiral note pad and a red and white polka dot napkin scattered about.
Tacked to the side of the computer tower I have a finger painting from my grandson, Xander, done when he was about 14 months old. As well there are photos of my niece’s baby daughter and my nephew’s grad portraits. There is an 8.5x11 collage of photos of my offspring and husband that I had made last year to hang on the wall beside my hospital bed.
Tucked between my external hard drive and the computer is lottery ticket number 0978 from the Cash to Fight Cancer lottery. I was so certain I was going to win the December 26th grand prize draw that I cannot bring myself to throw the ticket away, “just in case.”
My wedding rings lay abandoned on the desktop as do my diamond earrings. Next time I want to wear them I will wander through the house muttering, “What the...? Where the heck...?” until I find them. How I’ve managed to keep possession of them for 29 years is an utter mystery.
There is a stack of three or four time slips from the life skills worker who comes in daily to work with our special needs son. Paper work is not my forte and while I manage to get her pay cheques written on time, the slips will pile up for months before they get filed away in the cabinet that sits about eight inches from my computer chair.
On the far edge of the desk sits a yellow Motorola 2-way radio with a flashing red light. The hand held unit is one of a set of three that our basement-dwelling son received for Christmas. He likes me to use it to call him in the morning. It has replaced the portable doorbell button that sits on my desk right beside it. For some reason he prefers to be awakened with his mother’s most official sounding voice booming through the radio, “Constable Denmark, there’s an emergency on Sanderson Road. Please respond.” Why he refers to himself as Constable Denmark is completely unknown. We’ve long since given up trying to figure out the mind of Jed.
There is an open shelf on my desk that sits completely empty, juxtaposed against the rest of the eclectic mix of stuff. For the month of December the shelf displayed my porcelain nativity set. This week Mary, Joe and the babe were packed away in a box and it will only be a matter of days before the clutter swallows up the emptiness.