On My Desk

I need to clean my desk.

Everyone needs to clean their desk. Well, not everyone. Not the super-organized neat freaks. I used to be a super-organized neat freak, but then I started doing stuff and it keeps me from doing other stuff, like cleaning my desk.

My desk isn’t bad, though. I mean, I’ve seen worse. I can see the black wood underneath. I have space to put things still. The top shelf is actually mostly bare—nothing but a fuzzy stuffed owl, a notebook, and a picture of Marilyn Monroe that I’ve had for two years but haven’t actually hung on the wall yet. She’s biting her nails and looking sexy. How can she look sexy when She’s biting her nails? When I bite my nails, I look like I’ve had too much caffeine?evidence of which can also be seen in the graveyard of empty Diet Coke cans shoved behind my computer in a vain attempt to hide my addiction from the rest of the world. they’re messy, but it doesn’t count because you can’t see them, unless I put my laptop lid down.

Addiction number two? Popsicles. Yes, I know It’s a bazillion degrees below zero. Yes, I know that this habit makes me so cold that I have to drape myself in blankets (currently heaped on the floor because I’m not eating popsicles and am therefore at a comfortable temperature). Yes, I know that I don’t eat popsicles in the summer, which is horrendously inconsistent.

But still.

Don’t they make a mess? Not really; in fact, that big red drip over there is not from popsicles at all. It’s nail polish. Let me explain. I got stuck on a piece I was working on and had the crazy idea to repair the one finger whose French mani had worn off. Red was the obvious choice because there was a bottle of red polish already sitting on my desk (I still haven’t figured out why). I thought it would look cool and sophisticated. It didn’t. Next time I’ll let a professional do the job—I’ll stick to eating popsicles.

So the nail polish drip is on the desk, as is the bottle of polish responsible for it. Also on my desk: boring, common things. Receipts. Editing books. My planner. The mouse. Four pencils, because I never can find the one That’s already sitting out. Post-Its. Bills. A hat. Why a hat? Maybe for when I get cold next time I eat popsicles? Come to think of it, that makes perfect sense. The hat stays.

Kleenex. A tiny blown-glass vase. The Roget’s Thesaurus I got for Christmas when I was eleven. A Bluetooth headset I bought three phones ago and still haven’t taken out of the package. I think I’m worried it won’t work with my current phone, and then I’ll feel guilty for buying it and not using it while I could. Not knowing the truth allows me to feel good about myself and my responsible use of the electronics budget.

On the other hand, I do feel badly that I’ve never opened it. My smartphone is right here on the desk next to me. I could try it. I want to try it. I made a vow to get rid of as much stuff as possible this spring, so I might feel good even if I have to give it to Goodwill.

The directions are missing.

Maybe in the pile of papers on the filing cabinet next to the desk?

I really need to clean the pile of papers on the filing cabinet next to the desk …