The upstairs of our house is occupied by Katie's room and bathroom, and a good sized bonus room. In the back portion of the bonus room runs a knee wall, with a long counter attached on one side. It is our computer desk, craft area, and would be writing space for me.
I want this to be my desk, but instead it is a repository of bullshit. Long strips of paper that Katie has cut and strewn all over the place. An overflowing bill basket; not necessarily full of bills, because it also contains a bunch of tissue paper and a sheet of stickers and an ink cartridge. An envelope of school pictures from last fall that I meant to, but failed to, send to relatives.
A sippy cup, because there is an asshole sippy cup in every room of this house. Every time I turn around, Henry has stashed a cup somewhere. Chances are, by the time I find them they reek of spoiled milk or, in the case of old orange juice - someone's dirty butt.
A broken crayon. The mousepad with the picture of Katie and Julia, when they were around 8 and 2. A paper mailbox that Katie has made for Henry, who receives tons of mail. A spool of ribbon. A rubber stamp (a butterfly).
A fossil in a rock, that Sean found as a child, and we've been carting around and putting on a desk for twenty-two years. A dictionary and the Everyday Writer. Both of which might it benefit me to open occasionally ( I am a little unsure of my use of 'it' right then). A Coke Zero. I love Coke Zero and I love powdered Coffeemate, and I am not ashamed. I eat Splenda. I have a friend that carries a gallon sized zipper bag of Splenda in individual packets, in her purse. I don't do that, but I did just take some to a friend's house in a little bowl.
An electric pencil sharperner. If you have a kid who does homework, you know this is essential.
Sean's old laptop and charger. I do not know why it is sitting there, taking up space. It is starting to piss me off.
A gallon zipper bag full of colored pencils. The stupid printer which I can't get to work half the time, and is perpetually out of ink. A stapler. Scissors, tape. Spool of ribbon. A picture of a laughing baby Katie. A wooden box, which is supposed to hold pencils, but is actually full of crap, spilling out of the sides. Cords to stuff. The phone cradle, the phone nowhere in sight. A wii remote is on the floor. The trashcan is the basket to the paper shredder, the business part removed. Removed after Julia tried to jam her fingers into it when she was tiny. The basket is, oddly, empty.
Probably because all the trash is on the desk.
My desk is in shambles. All these bits and pieces of things tell the story of what has happened here. Katie, making a mailbox for her brother. Julia, who is freakishly good at Mario Kart, tossing the wii remote on the floor when she was done playing. The stamps that Henry dumped out of the bin, his sippy cup half full.
I do the majority of my writing by fingertip on an ipad, sitting on the couch, surrounded by kids. I start and stop writing with an alarming frequency. I edit poorly, if at all. I write while I'm nursing Henry. I write while I'm cooking dinner and watching them play in the sandbox. It is so rarely done alone, in silence, uninterrupted.
It is a little overwhelming. So I keep looking at the things on my desk, appreciating the distraction.
20 hours ago