Tables and chairs.

by waxbanks

I’ve only just realized, what, seven years later? that there isn’t a desk in my bedroom anymore.

It’s like life is a thing that happens all by itself.

When I ‘lived alone’ — in group houses, usually with a girlfriend, because I’m not strong that way — I preferred a small room with a desk right near the bed. I’d wake up pleasantly late if I had the option, roll/slide/ooze from the bed to the desk chair, and get writing or emailing or just soulkilling-via-Internet.

For a long time my desk was a giant wooden door purchased for a couple of books at Home Depot, perched atop a couple of filing cabinets. Every square inch of it was covered in papers, used rice bowls, clean/dirty clothes…

A girlfriend and I broke up and I kept her smaller but genotypically desk-y desk, which had a ‘hutch,’ which I lost along the way. She kept the Madeleine L’Engle books. And the Great Wheel goes ’round.

When my now-wife and I moved in together, Just the Two of Us — this was, what, seven years ago? — I inherited the ex’s desk, not yet hutchless, and trashed the door-top. The desk ended up in our study. We had a study! Every square inch of wall was shelves. We couldn’t quarantine our books that way anymore, but it made sense then; downstairs was for TV and dinner and guests. (We had guests!)

Now we have a son, nearly five years old, and at some point we replaced the dour black desk with a tiny little brown desk from Target, specifically chosen by an organization consultant (her visit was a gift from an extremely thoughtful in-law) to fit in the tiny space between two shelves.

And we have a third floor, but no study as such. We keep the desk there, and sleep in a room that’s perhaps twice as big as the bed, which our son visits every morning on his way to his daily Alexandrian training in ruling the world justly but sternly by wit and (if need be) force of arms.

In the morning I wake up — often first of the three of us, and my wife’s almost always last, since her eerie metabolism wants nine hours of sleep if possible, though it’s never possible — and try to sneak quietly downstairs to…well, to do this.

There’s a rotating list of perhaps ten websites I peek in on in the mornings, several of which really are ‘hate-reads’: sites which give me pleasure proportional to the contempt or (somewhat healthier) dislike or disrespect I feel for the people who post there. The New York Times falls into this category at times, as did the Klein/Yglesias blogs back when those guys mattered. Nerd/fan blogs and forums, especially, belong here. (I always wondered, when I was a kid, why tabletop RPGs were treated as if radioactive. Thirty minutes reading the D&D forum at will clear up any confusion on that point.)

I used to check and a host of screenwriter blogs daily — more than that — and now I wish I’d just spent that time writing. Over the last few years I’ve written a handful of books but I could’ve written a few more if I’d just refrained from writing, say, 10,000-word forum posts about whether the end of Angel was a cliffhanger. (Non-newsflash: it wasn’t.)

There’s a copy of Munchkin Treasure Hunt on the table next to me, which hopefully we’ll play today. It’s good fun. I’ve just eaten a fruit bar. I won’t even set foot on the third floor today, except to do laundry (it’s Sunday after all). There are Legos all over the floor and I see in my email that someone has posted to Quora a detailed explanation of how Petyr Baelish is responsible for the downfall of the Starks. I bought some graph paper and my son and I have been mapping Thunderdelve Mountain in our copious free time. And the Great Wheel goes ’round.