Thursday, March 15, 2012

A desk for the boss of no one

    For years I have been writing and working from my perch facing an old desktop computer stacked on a lousy computer cart. I've been irritated by the sight of this work station for years but haven't wanted to replace it with another piece of junk (otherwise, absolutely no pressed board, assemble it yourself crap from China. Period.)  So I've been patient.  I practiced intention.  I visualized my future grand desk with a spacious surface made of real wood the color of deep honey.  I knew that this desk was going to be old, because I prefer wood furniture with a history.  I also knew that the type of desk I wanted was probably going to be expensive.  It might be the kind of desk you'd see in an old library.

    At Knees and Paws, I am the boss --the boss of no one.  But even the boss of no one needs a work space to stay organized.  The writer in me wanted this desk more than the boss in me did.

     One day this week, feeling a brief respite from my cold, Elliot and I ventured out for groceries.  I was feeling happy, and sometimes a feeling of happy makes me want to shop for other things besides food.  So we stopped to browse the stinky old stuff at Goodwill.  It's closer than the mall and strangely interesting...with just a touch of pathetic.  But we love it.  Emily hates to go in with me, but Elliot enjoys it.  A boy after my own heart.

    On this carefree day, while standing in the midst of old exercise equipment and bean bag chairs, I saw THE desk of my intention.  I peeked at the price tag, fully expecting it to be way out of my range.  But when you are a student of intention, there's a little spark of knowledge that tells you to go for it.  I'd been saving for a kayak and had just enough to take it home, without completely demolishing my kayak egg nest.

     When I pulled up to the loading area, the men patiently explained that they refused to put it into the back of my Ford.  One came out with a measuring tape, saying that if it fell out on the way home I would do serious damage to the back bumper. (I'm thinking, not to mention the car behind us!)  All of this talk just felt false, like an excuse not to do heavy lifting.  I knew there was plenty of room but sometimes people here only respond positively to men.  I've experienced this countless times in auto repair shops, with exterminators and with home maintenance technicians.  Usually laborers are surprised that I can speak their language as I was once a maintenance apprentice and have experience in carpentry, electricity and plumbing.  Still, they love to wriggle their way out of tackling a job until they meet and directly speak to Richard.  (King Richard as they have named him at work...not very nice but he does have an air of authority about him).

 The men at the store told me to come back with a flatbed truck with no cap on top.  I was sure this was b.s. but with other things to do I left with my receipt, not entirely sure that the desk would still be there the next day. This has happened before when there's a really valuable piece that could easily disappear after hours.

  The following day, Richard returned to the store with our receipt in the same vehicle I had been driving the day before.  He instructed the men to turn the desk upside down, and it slid right in, with only a few inches exposed.  Victory!

    At home, Richard and I worked together with a hand cart and managed to get it in the house by ourselves.  My husband is usually not appreciative of any spending that's not for essentials, but even he was very impressed with this find.  We enjoyed opening all the drawers and searching for secret compartments.  We imagined the previous owner having lunch at this desk, because one of the drawers smelled like pickles.

  After all of this writing, I'm not entirely sure why I felt it was important to share this story with you, except to spread my giddy excitement.  There's a reason why patience is a virtue.  Not having something immediately is good for the soul.  It sweetens the experience of receiving the ideal.  Was it intention at work, or simply a random coincidence?  Whatever the case, I'm sitting here enjoying the result.


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