It’s not a very interesting piece, this desk. It’s the kind you buy for function, not form: it’s a generically-made one.
I use it every day, and it’s become so buried under papers and books that I barely remember what it looks like underneath. Sometimes I sweep it clear, blinking in surprise at the smooth wood hidden away. A few days later there are papers and books stacked on every inch again, and I’m back to forgetting what it looks like.
This time though, I’ve brought in a pile of office organizer supplies, boxes and trays and containers in an effort to contain the mess. Every paper is diligently shuffled through, every book neatly boxed and each drawer packed to capacity.
Under the latest layers is an attempt at staining the wood a new colour, an effort to personalize it a bit. It hadn’t worked – something had gone wrong, and instead the result had been streaky and washed-out.
Still, it has history, and even maybe character. It’s the desk we bought and shared when we first moved in together. It’s the one we co-used, laptops side-by-side and paperwork rigorously kept to “our” spots. We would try to evenly divide three drawers between us, trying not to knock over hot drinks in a limited amount of moving space.
It’s solely mine now, but the presence of you lingers on in the woodwork, one side worn alternately smooth or dented by you tapping on it.
It’s like a physical representation of my life with you.