Friends, it saddens me to have to put something like this in words, but I want everyone to know that if I seem distant or sad or even angry in the coming days and weeks, it’s because I lost a good friend tonight.
At about four in the afternoon, while editing a spreadsheet, the right drawer rail of my desk fell out of its mounting bracket. We were able to reinsert it twice, and for a few hours everyone was hopeful, but I knew that heroic measures would only prolong its suffering, and at 9:31 PM, when the rail separated for a third and final time, it was time to say goodbye.
I first saw my college desk on the Staples website on a beautiful early autumn day in 2003. It was love at first sight. Somehow, before we had ever even met in person, I knew that this was the desk with which I wanted to spend the rest of my life. I think I’ll always treasure that first glimpse of the desk, unvarnished by the ravages of time and pencil lead and my power drill from that one year I decided I wanted it to face the other direction. And also unvarnished by varnish, because it was made of particle board with imitation wood grain glued on top. Over the years that wood grain faded, as all things must in time. But with every square centimeter of the underlying particle board that was laid bare before my eyes, I glimpsed just a bit more of my desk’s true nature, and I fell even more in love.
I know that many would say six years is a good run for a $100 desk, but I can’t help but think that it’s somehow my fault – that the desk would still be with us if only I hadn’t typed so damn much. I guess the candle that burns twice as bright truly does burn half as long. And so I know that with the passage of time, the anguish of my loss will fade, while the memories of the good times my desk and I shared remain, just as bright and vivid as that 72dpi picture I fell in love with. And while I don’t consider myself a religious person, I’d like to believe that one day the desk and I will be reunited, because particle board is made with 25% post-consumer material.