My oldest son Jack moved out this week into his own apartment. We’re really going to miss him – the midnight snacks of sugared bacon and popcorn, watching movies, binge watching shows. 

Sam, Lindsay and I waved goodbye as he pulled out of the driveway in his overpacked truck.

“I call dibs on his closet!” Lindsay shouted.

“Heck no,” I said. “I get the closet.”

“You already have a walk-in closet.”

“Fair enough, I’ll split it with you.”

“Deal.” We shook on it.

“I want his room,” Sam declared, almost peeing in the corners to scent mark his territory.

“No!” I shook my head. “We just redecorated your room.”

“Fine. I didn’t want it anyway.” Sam walked away.

Jack had left behind some mementoes – things that have no place in a young man’s apartment, but are too precious to throw away; plus, he left some prime real estate, a bedroom with spectacular views and an empty closet.

I needed space. My desk butted up against my bed. The first thing I see in the morning is my computer screen. The cat steps on the keypad at all hours of the night sending the screen into an audible tizzy, like a machine gun going off. Everyone is at-home learning, crowded around the desk all the time. Our lives are too co-mingled.

My papers get mixed in with biology homework.

“Has anyone seen the phone bill?” 

This desk and I have been through a lot. The drawers are jammed with junk I couldn’t throw away, old greeting cards and fountain pens.  I’ve tried to clean them out, but it was too emotionally daunting. No matter how hard I pulled and tugged on those antique pulls, they pulled back.

I tried to move the desk into the new room, but it was too wide. No problem, I tilted it to the other side with the legs heading due south. I tilted to the other side with legs pointing due north. With that, the haunted drawers popped open spilling my memories onto the floor – photos of old boyfriends and dead pets, a Swiss army knife, sealing wax and a seal in the letter L. 

Old coins began to pour out like a slot machine. I tried to push the drawers back, but they wouldn’t budge. 

The legs splayed opened, “Your old baggage is not going inside this new space.”

“Come on!” I yelled.

I stood it upright, climbed up over the top and squeezed myself between the top door jam and the desk. From here I pulled and wiggled the desk legs.

For hours, I tilted, turned and flipped until it was firmly stuck in the door jam.

Sam knocked on the desk, “Mom are you in there?”

Defeated, “Yes,” I whimpered.  “Hmmm,” I picked up a baby photo of Jack, which prompted me to go through my memories, sorting them into 2 piles – keep and trash. What had taken 20 years to acquire only took 20 minutes to throw away. It was freeing.

The phone rang. It was my friend – aptly nicknamed “MacGyver.”

 “What are you doing?” MacGyver asked.

“I’m stuck in my new room.”


“I jammed the desk.”

“Do you need help?”


Minutes later there was a knock on the desk between us and I whined, “We have to take the door off.” 

“Did you try to take the legs off?” she asked.

“They’re glued in place,” I said.

She jostled the desk. “Not this one,” she declared while holding up one leg, and then the other. One minute later the desk was inside.

Now it sits cleanly in my new space, free of my old memories, while I’m surrounded by Jack’s old memories – and that’s just the way I like it.

Live with Waffletude.

4 thoughts on “Desk

  1. It’s so well written !!! My favorite line which you wrote is,
    “No matter how hard I pulled on those antique pulls , they pulled back !”


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