Every so often, I like to play with the Observation Deck, a box of cards that offer prompts or suggestions for getting around writing blocks or starting daily writing practice. One of my favorites is “Open a Drawer.”
My desk drawer isn’t really in my desk, but in a rolling file cube that can slide under my desk when I want it to. Right now, however, it is against the wall, holding the printer, and atop that a TiVo box and a cable converter, because the television in my studio is an old one, with no real top space on which to balance electronica, and the room lacks a formal television stand.
I open the drawer to pull out the purple plastic pencil box where I store postage stamps and stickers for the backs of letters, and when I do, other things, precariously arranged around the box, fall into the gap it’s left. I see an eraser, on of the oblong ones from school, pink on one end, gray on the other, a pencil sharpener, a roll of cellophane tape, another roll of masking tape, a glue stick.
Moving outward from the miniature landslide, toward the edges of the drawer: a box of Cinnamon Altoids, a stick of Dell Memory, a small bottle of bubbles on a plastic lanyard – because what is an office-y type place without bubbles?
The bubbles make me smile, and draw my eye out of the drawer and onto the desktop. I see my yellow rubber ducky, a souvenir from a spa we spent two glorious nights at for our third anniversary. We had to climb stairs into the tall fluffy bed, and we made an excursion into town for books and ollalie berry pie, and for dinner we ate out on the pier at Avila Beach and watched the seals playing below us as we ate Chilean sea bass in a coconut curry.
People say there’s no such thing as time travel, but I can move forward and backward in time, just by opening a drawer.