Pristine desk, where art thou?


I have selective OCD. I work from home so the desk I share with five children and a husband can get a bit craptastic with homework assignments, coffee cups, and small empty bottles of Rescue Remedy when I’m staring a slew of writing deadlines in their beady little eyes. Most mornings, I drop the girls off at the bus and lumber to my desk to tackle the day’s list of writing genius: zombies, Boxcar Children activities, humor pieces, and promo for ghost-related projects this month. But it wasn’t always this way. When I worked outside the house and wore pants nearly every day (let’s not get crazy now), my desk was as clean as the virgin air atop Mt. Everest. No files marring the sheen of my cubicle desktop, no pencils outside of their cup, and no dust. Ever. It was magnificent. What the heck happened?

Currently on my desk, I have one copy of the Zombie Tarot with plans of posting a card a day on Twitter, a beat up ARC of the Girls’ Ghost Hunting Guide, various dusty miniatures of Mt. Vernon, a lucky cat from San Francisco’s Chinatown district, an Egyptian blue hippo that reminds me of my time in Great Britain and hanging out at the British Museum on break from my archaeological dig, and a small red dog my daughter made from cheese wax. Add a stuffed cat-head on a spring that holds my headphones, two large flat monitors, two very large copies of Holzer’s book GHOSTS, school photos, a pencil cup devoid of pencils, a coffee cup, my phone, a manila envelope to mail, and my favorite photo of my daughter at two-years-old and trying to say “cheese.” Where are you now, desk so clean that I could safely lick it and worry that it would get sick before I did?

In order to learn to speak to people in complete sentences again, I volunteered to help at my local historical association’s art show. For two weeks, I helped patrons purchase expensive artwork, answered questions, and tidied the large desk at the mill where the show was held. Boy, did I tidy. I straightened that bloomin’ desk so often that they couldn’t find a pen and, I’m sure, threw paper into the air as soon as I left at the end of my shift. God, I was annoying. Now back at my desk, I deflate a little and give in. Where else would I put that cat head with the dog-chewed whiskers?

NaNoWriMo is rearing its ugly head on the first. I’d better get another desk — this one is reaching its load limit.

What does your desk look like?

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7 thoughts on “Pristine desk, where art thou?”

  1. I was interviewed by a TV station over the summer — my desk was pristine on that day, after 12 straight ours of panic cleaning. Then I had Fibber Magee’s closet, bursting at the seams until the first time I had to find something and it all came bursting out. Now I’m not even sure what color my desk is.

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