This desk was given to my sister by my Tia Clara and like the old books that were once on it, has seen better days.
It used to house my Tia’s typewriter a pale blue electric that wrote in cursive, it was a marvel of its time, a sought out elegant writing device. This is the desk she wrote letters to me, packed with little gems of my grandfather and grandmother that I never met. I wish I could talk to her now. I think her advice would be head up and keep going and she would tuck $500 in a book and pretend that the money wasn’t there. It was always enough. Mostly it was to pay for my books for school, she knew I worked but she wanted to help. A memory flooded into my mind of her petting my college boyfriends bleached blonde hair and saying it’s like wool & laughing at him. The time we cooked spaghetti with her and she really didn’t know how to cook, my sister and I placing the Styrofoam on the burner and permanently branding it with the rings on the electric stove. She taught me that if you don’t have Parmesan that mozzarella was a better choice anyways & that even on the hottest day in Las Vegas, it’s never too hot for a nice good bowl of chili. The best place to get chili Arizona Charlie’s. And her laugh it was like a force, ha she would say loudly and smile and giggle to herself. She had the heart of gold, I remember traveling up a dirt road in a mercury sable during a flash flood in the New Mexico hills just to give her blind brother a watch that spoke time. She was a religious woman and walked to mass every morning with her overweight dog Booger trotting along beside her.
I start going through the contents thinking this is the last time I will see this desk, I’m donating it. I don’t have room for this anymore I’m moving, I need to downsize, this is goodbye. As I unpack the contents I find a beautiful sparkling bracelet from that one time I got married, a packet from an AIDS event I went to, NECCO wafers that I take to grandpa when I visit him at his retirement home, a beautiful ribbon, essential oils a bowl of change and more. What would Tia Clara think of these things?
I unpack the contents of my bookshelf to get ready for the biggest move of my lifetime 13 years in this home. I grew up as an adult here and it shows. The bookshelf tells the story of me the first one I pick up is “excuse me your life is waiting” and it makes me laugh, I’m such a sucker for a good self-help book, sitting next to it is “Eat Pray, Love” and my favorite “Like water for chocolate”. I’ll save these books I’ll read these again the others like the readers digest books my grandma left me will be donated, not because I don’t appreciate them but because someone else will more. “The Birth Partner” will be returned to Belle that book makes me sigh with relief, we did it we helped a baby into this world. Then there are my books from school my favorites law, sociology, programming, microbiology, biotechnology, precalculus (who am I kidding?), and watercolors.
At this moment I realized, this desk I cannot part with, I think I will keep this desk. This desk has stories I’ve never heard and it will continue to witness more and I hope one day I can pass it on to someone who will appreciate it as much as I do.
Long live Tia Clara’s writing desk.