memoirs, art and fragments by Thomas Milner

Archive for July 30, 2011

He likes his desk


He likes his desk it is an essentially functional unobtrusive piece of furniture its quiddity is obvious and reassuring it is something to lean on indeed he never actually looks at it only feels its presence and uses it to do-nothing-at with composure and relaxation he loves to relax at his desk and do nothing he sits slightly tilting his chair and stares forward at the wall behind the desk if he has little to do he lounges back easily looking complacently round the room which he hasn’t yet tidied and cleared up all the paper-work  but has all day to do so if he so wishes which he doesn’t because he has plenty of time and therefore lacks the necessary motivation if he has a lot to do he sits sitting staring sternly at the wall with resolve or out of the little window on his right overlooking the sandy compound he is in command of the situation he can do the work because here he is at the desk the desk is the testimony of the possible the desk is his potential people sometimes ask where did you get that desk that’s a good desk and he shrugs casually and complacently and replies that it was already in the cabin when he moved in and then they examine it taking in its dull grey colour its combination of solidity and economy of size (it fits exactly in the alcove) he notes that it only has three drawers (not six as he had previously supposed) and begins to worry about this biting away at his finger nails and breaking into a slight sweat until someone says those three drawers hold a lot I bet and he is relieved and says yes they’re pretty useful they hold quite a lot you know sometimes he tidies the desk purposefully putting work-not-yet-done into neat piles he then tilts his chair back taken aback by how easily so much work not-yet-done can be put into such business-like piles he slouches back and forces his mind away from work the thought of which threatens to make him sweat in the North African heat his desk is one of the many constants that help him to control his skipping shuddering uncontrolled drifting consciousness he has reasons to be grateful for his desk one of which is that it helps him get it all down you know his feelings about it using a sort of stream-of-consciousness technique without punctuation except the odd hyphen (oh yes and brackets too) yes he has certain reasons to be very grateful for his desk


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