Hardly a day goes by without either my wife or me starting a conversation with the words, “In our next house…” followed by whatever we wish we had in this one.
Most of the time it’s something quite practical—a bigger kitchen, an ensuite, a bathroom with two sinks, etc. Other times it’s something we’d only be able to afford if we won lotto—a dedicated media room, a pool, a two-car garage with two actual cars, and so on.
One of my standard requests is for a proper office. You know, one with wooden floors, a massive bookcase at one end, and a desk that wraps around the room. Parked in front of the desk would be my very own Herman Miller chair (I’m sitting on a kitchen chair at the moment) where I’d sit and write. And there would be nothing on my desk except my computer, a cup of freshly-brewed coffee, and my notes.
Okay, so I’m dreaming a little. As if I’d ever have a desk that clean.
I don’t know why, but my desk seems to accumulate an amazing amount of stuff. It’s not junk, which is a pity. If it was I could just toss it in the bin and be done with it. No, this is stuff I want to keep but haven’t managed to either a) put it back in its rightful place, or b) find a rightful place to put it.
Here are just some of the things cluttering up my desk as I write this post.
- A rewritable DVD, which if memory serves has a TV show on it we’ve been meaning to catch up on. I can’t tell exactly which show, because the DVD doesn’t have anything written on it. And I’ll never actually write on it because it’s rewritable.
- My electric shaver. In the morning I usually shave while I’m checking emails, Twitter feeds and people’s latest moves on Scrabble. It should live in the bathroom, but it tends to just visit when it needs recharging.
- A tube of Deep Heat, which my wife used on me the last time I screwed up my neck up. (Actually, it happens so often I may as well leave it here.)
- A spindle of blank DVDs and a spindle of blank CDs. The DVDs I can explain—I make backups of our Pixar movies so they a) start without needing to go through the menus, and b) can be handled by our two-year-old child without me having a heart attack. But the CDs? I have no idea.
- A local newspaper, still bound by the rubber band it came in. Mind you, judging by how yellow the paper has become it’s hardly news any more.
- Receipts from Borders, my ISP and other places I haven’t quite gotten around to filing. (For the record, the filing cabinet is directly beneath my desk.)
As you can imagine, there’s not much room left over for me to actually write. (Thank goodness my computer’s mouse and keyboard are wireless.)
Yes, I’m sure that if I ever do get my fancy office with the wrap-around desk I’ll have just as much clutter, if not more (It always seems to fill the space provided.) But I’m sure if I pushed it all to one side I’d make enough room for my coffee cup and notes.
And if my wife ever complained about the mess I’d just look at her, smile, and say those four magic words.
“In our next house…”