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the white table

The days are not long. The nights are short. Guitars are hiding in cases, with scraps of paper tucked inside. The pen is full. There is a fresh notebook, with creamy pages. The little white desk is in the middle of the living room, a cascade of receipts and laundry perched on it.

I clean it off, have lunch as it stares back at me. This focal point, this fulcrum where my thoughts become real, this cheap folding table from Ikea. It is familiar, and patient.

the white square


It may be a form of going to church. Shouldered by the humble, there must be a flaw followed by a confession, then a naked stare. There is no room for ego and boasting in this corner of the world. Just the offering, the thin pile of pages that grows in spurts. The marks of blue ink, the subtle changes, the swooping corrections, the reprinting of those same pages now growing like a forest of saplings.

I dreamt of a great room to write in since I was a young man, a perfect replica of Frank Lloyd Wright's office, the one on display at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. How many times have I leaned against the rope across its entrance. smelling the old wood, the ancient carpet, marvelling at the low light and the expanses of wood. Ah, what books could be written in a room like this! What pages of insight and pain, of soulful revelations.

Instead, there is a fold-up table from Ikea. It goes out on the balcony when I am not working to save space. It is small, the surface already scratched, with legs that wobble under the weight of my elbows. It all happens on this tiny white square, the building of worlds, a telescope pointing back towards the earth not at the stars, looking hard at the actions of lost people, witnessing their wrestling matches.

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