The State of Auburn’s Desk

I thought it perhaps interesting on this hot sunny summer day to take a tour around a working writer’s desk. If you’d rather ride a mule down the Grand Canyon, or see those freaky statues on Easter Island, or take pictures of the Eiffel Tower or something nice like that, by all means, please go. Really. There’s not a whole lot to see here — just a bunch of paper and stuff.

But for those who find fascination with what a writer might have in her office, then today’s your lucky day! I’ve hired Bob the Tour Guide, so load up and have fun. The bus leaves right now.

Welcome aboard, Ladies and Gentlemen — Bob the Tour Guide here. During the ride, please keep your body parts well inside the windows and stay seated during the entire ride. For those prone to motion sickness or whiplash, note the handy paper bags in the pocket in front of your seat. And no pictures, please. Ms. McCanta is usually in the dark and sensitive to the light of flashbulbs and insightful thought.

All righty then, shall we get started?

As we enter through the standard-sized doorframe, please don’t panic. Your eyes will adjust quickly to the low light, which is intentionally kept at a minimum to discourage the dust mites that often colonize this writer’s chronically paper-filled desk.

Straight ahead, note the framed 6th grade theme paper entitled, “What I Want to be When I Grow Up.” This serves to remind the writer that instead of becoming a nurse like Clara Barton, that famous purveyor of soup, sympathy and sanitation, she instead hovers alone over a keyboard filled with germ-laden potato chip droppings and flecks of dried Twinkie creme. Folks, you might want to wash your hands when you get off the bus … just a thought.

Along the left wall, note the bookshelves brimming with the likes of John Milton, Poe, Eudora Welty, J.A. Jance, and Snoopy the Dog. Also for those on the left side of the bus, you can see her grandfather’s fez just peeking out from between the full collection of Harry Potter and her signed copy of Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. Also you can see her mother’s tobacco pipe, although you might not want to ask about that, it’s a rather sore subject.

As we move toward the desk, we’ll need to make a couple of wide turns around two large sleeping dogs. I’m told neither bite, but nevertheless, we like to observe the wildlife without interfering with their natural habitat. Note how the big white dog lays across the writer’s foot, while the large red dog is directly behind her chair, both cleverly entrapping the writer and keeping her in her chair for the day. Good dogs.

As we move now across the desk, please observe the general clutter typical of a right-brained scatter goof. Just a quick reminder here about those little paper barf bags in the pocket of the seat in front of you. Notice how she’s decorated her desk here and there with crumpled papers, a … oh, my god is that a hair tie? … um, a rock from who knows where, a box of heartworm medicine, and one left shoe. Very artistic. Now, watch as the writer unconsciously taps her teeth with her pen while she thinks about her writerly stuff, thus painting her teeth a nice cerulean blue. Oh, dear … that’s unfortunate. Well, maybe it’ll come off in time.

Moving on, we’ll make a quick stop in front of her surprisingly neat and orderly file cabinet before leaving the confines of the cave. It’s perhaps the only evidence of a thinking brain in this room, and we’re especially careful to preserve its integrity. We’re about to leave now, so I’d like to caution you to shield your eyes as we once more enter the bright light of the normal world.

I hope you’ve enjoyed your trip. Please come back again … and remember to tell your friends and neighbors. There’ll be post cards and souvenirs in the gift shop … do watch your step as you leave, and no we don’t offer refunds because you’re highly disappointed with today’s tour.

Feel free to leave your comments below. I’m told the writer will respond accordingly.


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