When I was growing up in Stratford, we had this enormous open plan kitchen in our house, with two skylights. It was the perfect space, and so large it didn’t even bother my mother when my brother and I would host birthday parties for our stuffed animals in the middle of the floor, as she’d merely walk around us and continue on. Much of this can to be accredited to both my parents who helped designed the house.
In one of the corners of the kitchen was this old roll top desk. White washed with colourfully painted cabinet knobs. I’m sure at one point the knobs were much nicer, but I cannot be blamed for having a paint brush in the kitchen and a tendency to wander at such a young age.
I loved this desk. Not only did it show its years of use with pride, it had so many compartments, it was like a treasure hunt trying to find things. My mother likes to hide things in drawers (especially candy) so we’d always go searching through the desk for treats. I remember composing a lot of letters at that desk, and doing my homework there as well. Afterward it would be bought to the kitchen table for parental eyes to glance over. The kitchen table was always the “editing station” and the roll top desk was where we’d compose.
When we had to move from the space, to a different city and a different kitchen that didn’t fit the desk, it went into storage in the garage for years, until I was older and high jacked it to put in my own room. Composing continued until I moved out. I was sadden to hear that when my brother went to university he took the desk, and it was eventually stolen when someone broken into their flat.
Even though I’ve been without the desk for nearly a decade, I still miss having a writing desk. They are so different from the computer desk, not only in design aesthetic but also in feeling. This is probably why I’m attracted to small offbeat coffee shops, with mismatched furniture. I do some of my best writing in those spaces, as they capture the feeling of my old desk.
Which leads me to my question for you. Where is your favourite place to write?