I seem to be good for several things including holding paper, pens and books of all flavors. For providing storage. A place to lay the newspaper. I am my writer’s old oak desk. We do not speak, but how I wish I could. She sits at me in the early morning sometimes with a laptop, sometimes with a pad. I hold her glasses, coffee mug and phone. And I support her as she writes for hours.
Today is the same. She hums as she sets up on my surface, brushing off pesky cat hair that has accumulated on me from a nuisance named “Sonny” and gently scolds this beast who’s blobbing out next to me on his feline post. She stares out the window at obnoxious birds who race by to find a perch in the trees prior to scooping down to the feeder before another has a chance. She mentions how she loves the old oak outside despite being crooked from age and the yard of green which causes her nothing but hours of labor. And she pets the useless, long-haired dog that loves to brush up against me, half the time with a wet nose that on a good morning doesn’t land on my leg. It’s downright inexcusable for all of these distractions to be bothering my writer at such important times, but alas, I cannot help, or do, or say anything. I am her desk. I am the unseen, unappreciated support, but I would rather be nothing else.
She plugs away at her characters and settings for an hour after things settle down and is now in full concentration mode. Her writing is going well. She’s living life through her characters, acting out scenes and feverishly jotting down lines. She’s talking to herself in jubilation, as if defendant Johnny Goldchild is pacing in the room or young Emma Fairsworth is running around. These are my favorite times.
But as usual, this wonderfully serene time has to be interrupted by a cat paw that has just rested on my side and provides a perfect catapulting position for landing onto my shiny top only to bother my writer. With its purrs and cuddles, that puff ball Sonny ends up interrupting the flow and ruining the blow by blow scenes that are now nothing but a blur. And what does my writer do? Pets him once again. It is quite beyond me how these forced break times are acceptable by her, but it never fails that she inevitably and disgustingly baby talks him and lets his oversized body lay on mine with a tail whipping around like a viper ready to damage my almost pristine 50-year-old surface. I may have a ding or two on my curves, but overall, this old lady is in good shape.
Thank goodness, eventually, she tires of the cat and shoos him off so we can get back to business, wiping his hair onto the floor again that she’ll have to clean up later. She’ll then usually go back into her world for a few more hours, but now it seems she’s lost it. Her elbows are on me with her head in her hands, trying to find the characters again. When she gives up, she peers out the window. She sips on her coffee. She calls the dog. But she never notices me. The one that is the old standby. The one she leans on. Her one constant.
I wish I could tell her to keep going. To not be discouraged. That it will all come together like it always does. To not listen to those annoying birds or be distracted by the view or the pets. But I know she’ll never hear me. All I can do is stand strong, holding her up when she needs it, providing support for her elbows, arms and various beverages.
She gets up from her chair and I know she’s going to leave. She looks out the window, then to the pets. She grabs her coffee and glasses with a sigh. Typical behavior for when my writer is frustrated. But then, something happens that never happens. She pauses before me and runs her fingers across the front of my surface. She grins ever so slightly and says, “Thank you, my old friend.” She finally sees me.
As she walks away, I can’t help but think better of that tub-o-lard cat and maybe his slight usefulness. After all, he’s just trying to comfort her, I suppose. And I guess I can see her attraction to our beautiful backyard and the nature that goes along with it, though I could live without the relentless chirps and thoughtless singing. But, they get her for only short moments in time. I, on the other hand, have the honor of her leaning on me every morning. And I will always be here to support her.
I bet you will never look at your desk the same again. Next time, you might want to consider giving it a hug. ;-) Sandie