The Joseph Campbell Memorial Rolltop Desk

A good place to store, and hide, documents

I bought a rolltop desk last Sunday. I had originally set out that day to buy an outdoor loveseat so that my boyfriend/me/our germ unit could sit with each other in a way that takes up less room on our small porch. No one in the entire greater Sacramento/Foothill Region had an outdoor loveseat but I did find this nice teak rolltop desk.

It wasn’t expensive and it’s pretty sweet and it has a lot of drawers where I can put crap like earbuds and ear plugs and pens and hair ties. It also has larger drawers where I can put all my notebooks and literally the most embarrassing document in the history of embarrassing documents — my “Hero’s Journey” worksheet for the novel I am trying to write/writing.

Yes, I think Joseph Campbell is a blowhard. Yes, every time I have ever been to a therapist and they have mentioned him I have wished that their office were on a high enough floor that jumping out a window would result in anything other than a sprained ankle. (As they carried me away on the stretcher I’d be like “this is the part where “the hero confronts tests, allies and enemies,” or “maybe this is the ordeal, who knows, only Joseph Campbell, a blowhard with some good ideas, but still a blowhard, knows.”

I was talking to someone who likes my work the other day and I sent them a photo of my Hero’s Journey Worksheet as a gesture of craven humility. And I am truly inhabiting cringeland by owning this document, so much so that while I was putting things into the desk today (I just picked the desk up today, it fits in a Toyota Yaris, another cool thing about this desk!) I realized I bought the desk for the sole purpose of hiding this thing, not only from the world, but from myself.

So there you have it. I bought a desk to engage in work, much of which, apparently, I am ambivalent about. This desk is a Call To Action, a Refusal of the Call to Action, and Crossing the First Threshold, all in one furniture item. It’s making for good storytelling already.

Sarah Miller is a writer living in Northern California.

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