There’s a box on my desk.

I have a box on my desk now, a box whose lid is sculpted into the shape of a pile of pens, and it has a Hemingway quote on the side that I disagree with, and I have put pens into it. It’s taking the place of the plastic Staples desk organizer my pens used to live in. Only that isn’t true; the organizer holds several other things (like rulers and pads of paper and my mini-stapler) that don’t fit into the Pen Box, not to mention more pens than the Pen Box can actually fit. So the plastic thing isn’t going away; it’s just moving onto the shelves behind me, where I don’t see it when I’m sitting at my computer, and in the meantime my Favored Pens get to live in the Pen Box on the desk, which makes me feel much more elegant and writerly because it’s not made of plastic.

This has no bearing on anything I actually do, but it feeds the ego and the self-image. As if I have upgraded my Writer Equipment, and by doing so, somehow upgraded a tiny piece of myself.

I figure, as long as I don’t forget how irrelevant this actually is — i.e. don’t fall into the consumerism trap — I’ll enjoy the illusion.

0 Responses to “There’s a box on my desk.”

  1. kateelliott

    We still have a few vestiges of Early and Late Graduate Student Family Decor, but I admit I have gotten rid of most of them, 8 years out from the end of graduate school.

  2. kitsunealyc

    What’s the quote?

    • Marie Brennan

      “The writer must write what he has to say, not speak it.”

      I won’t even bother arguing with the “he,” because there’s no point. But the divide Hemingway seems to be insisting on is likewise bogus to me.

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