An Ode to the Desk, that once-sturdy piece of glued and compressed wood shavings, which had long since grown creaky and unsteady as the plastic Ikea joints holding it together loosened and broke.
How lovely you looked in your disrepair, old friend, with your faux-wood veneer peeling up at the corners. There, on the left side, was the shallow scar from when the loose corner caught on my shorts as I passed, tearing a hole in the fabric and chipping off a nickel-sized chunk, almost as if you were made of obsidian.
How long we have toiled together, O staunch one, tolerating each other through the years. It was hard at first, as you ravaged my shins with your ridiculously sharp crossbeam and I made an ever-deepening depression on your surface with slow by forceful blows from my forehead. There were many of those, on those dark nights when the self-loathing took over, and every word that came into my mind was crap, crap, crap.
How generous you have been in letting me scrawl and scribble all over you, inadvertently melt crayons onto you when they strayed too close to the heat vent on my laptop, slam your drawers in frustration because someone took my darn scissors again and didn’t return them. It wasn’t your fault, dear one, and you must forgive me of my shortcomings and neglect. You see, I never meant to hurt you.
How loyal you were, waiting patiently through the dark times when the words didn’t come, standing resolute and unmoving when the keyboards and monitors failed, offering an firm anchor through the wails and cries of both spouse and children. And for what? Just to have me lean against you once more, the only thing standing between my fatigue and the floor.
It was almost too much to bear, that afternoon when I came home to find that you were the victim of a redecorating campaign. You must know how fast I sprinted to the dumpster, how desperate I was to find you, even in pieces, as long as you were still there. I cried, my friend, cried bitter tears into that empty, putrid dumpster, cursing the garbage collectors for being early this week and wondering what horrors you would endure amongst the leaking diapers and rotting arugula, before the sweet embrace of the compactor ended your misery.
Know this; if you only remember one thing, let it be this: It was not I who betrayed you. I have never thought you clashed with our decor. I never thought your surface, dirty though it may be, was anything but lovely. It had a healthy, if gray, patina of authenticity that gave a wholesome, lived-in quality to our living room. Certainly your sleek, presumptuous replacement does not, to my mind, “make the space more modern, light, and inviting,” nor “improve the layout of the room.” If anything, it mocks me, sitting in your hallowed place. No, it was someone else who decided to let you go, unbeknownst to me. Believe me, the betrayal has shaken my faith in her to the core. It will take me a long time to heal. I suppose I shall forgive her, someday, but I will never forget you.
You, the one who stuck with me through the dark times as well as the light.
Ahem, now, where was I? Ah yes, the weekly prompt. The words are below, though even they can’t lift my spirits at such a time as this. Go, take these words, make something beautiful, and leave me to grieve.