My desk at home has become a messy extension of my bedside table. On it are movie tickets that I’ve yet to file in my dusty Moleskine movie journal that’s been nurturing an inferiority complex for almost a year, random chargers (some for gadgets long-retired), broken earphones, receipts waiting to be reimbursed, my passport (bunched together with used airplane tickets), and a whole lot of other stuff.
When my room was a third of the size it is now (back in our old house, from 1987 to 2008), I spent most of the day at my desk. Sometimes I’d have my feet up, involved in a Mario Puzo novel. If not, I’d be hunched over it doing homework, my CD player blaring some Beatles song. If the song was from Rubber Soul or Revolver, it’d be poetry I’d be writing. I didn’t even watch TV as often (I had a TV in my room starting mid-2005) because I’d have to be sitting up against the wall or lying on my side to face it. Yes, the room was that small.
It was a time of mass book-buying at this now long-gone used bookstore in SM Bicutan, which led me to P10 copies of Douglas Adams novels and John Collier short story collections. It was a time of getting up 15 minutes before I really needed to just to write “morning pages,” 3 notebook pages of unedited, unfiltered thoughts, the point of which were to get out as early in the day as possible all the thoughts that would have bothered me throughout the day. I think it worked, to some extent. No Blackberry, no Galaxy Tab, no Crime & Investigation Network on the tube (I am quite glued to that channel on a daily basis).
My desk wasn’t neat then, either. But it got thoroughly cleaned at least once a week, because it was actually used. My desk (or both my desks, I should say) saw no less than a dozen notebooks get filled up with poetry, lines that served as fiction starting points, checklists, reminders and random thoughts. All those days and nights at my desk were what made me want to be a writer, and I won’t let my now bigger room and more distractions stop me from sitting at it any longer.
Desk, you will get cleaned and organized this weekend, if it’s the last thing I do!