Rhonda had been gone a year, and I’d been using her grandmother’s rickety kitchen table, with fold down leaves, as a makeshift desk for my computer. In addition to the monitor sitting on a table built to hold a printer (with a slot in the top of the particle board for the paper to feed through), I had the keyboard and her boom box on the table to complete the set, covered in my Star Wars sheet. The last time I had a desk, it was given to me by someone getting rid of it, and before that I had an antique one (made pre-computer) my parents gave me, which I eventually sold one month to pay the rent. The computer as well was given to me, so that after the one they gave me at college was no longer useful (which I would say happened around my junior year), I had to schlep the use of the one at work.

Rhonda was kind enough to leave me the printer stand, but now it’s all on one surface, and that surface is about 2ft square and pretty cramped. I have a wooden CD crate to raise the monitor to eye level, and the precarious hole in the top is just narrow enough so that my keyboard doesn’t fall into it, but sets just right. I went out today and bought a small ashtray that sits on the mouse pad next to the monitor, and the boom box I bought to replace Rhonda’s is now on the floor. It’s not comfortable, but it’ll do.

My dream desk would have three main features, none of which having to do with a computer: a swing out beer bottle/coffee mug holder, a swing out ashtray, and a stand solely for a small fan with which to keep the ever flowing cigarette smoke out of my face. Oh, and it would be more than 2 feet square and maybe have a footrest so I can stop using my CPU for that purpose, since I’m sure it’s not good for it.

I know that sometimes I flaunt my lack of things for the same reasons other people flaunt what they do have, and that for both of us it is out of pride that we do it. Some people are proud of their expensive furniture while I am proud that I got mine second hand, or off a curb, or for 5 bucks. I consider this makeshift desk I am now resorted to as a testament to my rebellion of consumerism as an expression of things I need, things I must have to feel significant in the world. And more than likely, I will feel that way in the morning, but right now, I wish I had a real desk. My back hurts.

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