So here he sits in the space the expanse of impersonal melamine chipboard stood, not overpowering and demanding room but respectfully, proportionately he sits, the demure little writing desk of a bygone time. My laptop fits snug and happy on the tan leather square more suited to Basil & Bond and fountain pen. Oh, the words that must have flowed in beautiful graceful italics or if it were I, spidery ink blots and incomprehensible spellings. My Pop wrote here in a steady, compassionate, eloquent hand. I wonder what wise words would he have written to me? I am sure some essence of him is soaked into a century of timber. I chuckle within as I try to extract the merest whisper of him only to be caught with the thought of Nan’s gossipings and cream bun shopping lists. Even this reminds me that mindful flowing stokes or quickly scribbled lines however written can dance across the page flippantly or carry deeper heart felt meanings. It is not how the pen is held but who grips it that scribes the message.
He is a tired old boy, my bureau, the passing of the years etched in bumps and scrapes. For years the over watered potted plants that lifted his veneer which flowed downward from his once fine horizontal face passed the slop of his dropdown door and green bayed leaves to his bottom drawer more loved than he. Only the Jack Russell puppy in a futile search for a bone scolded for the damage he caused. One of the poor old mans knees gnawed above short calf and pad foot by that mischievous hound. The aged and hardened richness of mahogany giving way to the infant white red his lower quarters where calved from. Not that the old boy seams to mind, he still stands on his squatty legs with his preposterous fake Louis XIV skirt a testament to time. The dog is long gone but his memory is not. It is not damage, it a moment in time that my bureau displays proudly.
They said he was ugly, not wanted, a disgrace, not of high pedigree, valueless. And I let them shove him from pillar to post until his draws were dispatched to the attic and his carcase left ‘in the way’ covered in the can’t be bothered to file away papers and just in case junk mail that covered every inch of the too smaller office to bare the weight of all that parchment abuse.
Well today I rescued him! And he I! You see in one way or another he has always been a part of my life, he has always been there. Not flamboyant or gregarious, but quiet and unassuming with just enough walnut veneer to catch a young boy’s imagination as he stood admiring the rich knars that morphed into a hundred faces. Today I was all at sea, treading water but sinking. Drowning in my self imposed responsibilities and the expectations of others. Situation hopeless. It is hard to keep afloat, to keep kicking, and not kicking for yourself but for others, for those whom love you and those whom you love. I so needed someone reassuring, dependable and strong. I didn’t expect it to be ‘something’ that came bobbing along like a piece of driftwood to latch onto. You dependable solid old boy! Smiling out at me through your knotted swirls. You clever old boy, connecting me to a happy past and reminding me that even in my solitude all is not lost and that someday I too will add my words to your history.
So here I put you ‘pride of place’ standing tall on your short bow legs and pad feet, relegating the acre of melamine chip to a more utilitarian world. You may be battered, bruised, old and just slightly decrepit but you are wanted, not because you are shinny and new, something others covert and desire. But because with age you store a past that no one other then I can feel. The words that have been written on you give you a vocabulary that does not produce sound or scripture but speaks in an aged silences to me. I may not be able to draw out the actual words you keep secret laid down by others before, but what I can do is use you for what you were made for, to write! And pray that for that you will rewards me with inspiration and the ability to write with passion, emotion and clarity, but equally to see the joy and fun in life and write well enough to givepleasure to others.
My old friend together we will endure.
I was not sure what font colour or text size to use, please suggest the most comfortable to read. Thank you