Meditating on a desk

What is it?
Why do we sometimes expend energy when nothing good will come of it, in our favor? How much energy do we expend to get things?
In the spirit of rumination, and self flagellation, I did an energy experiment this morning.

My desk is a cheap black folding desk in my bedroom. I like to keep my personal computer in my bedroom on this small desk, while I employ my work laptop exclusively for work, and work on it elsewhere where there is more space. Lately I found myself working in the dining room because this small black desk was very unaccomodating. This was getting increasingly uncomfortable, so, it was Sunday and I decided to go shopping for a desk.

How does one shop for a desk?
Do you go to click a few buttons and have The System subtract credits from one pool, and move them into another? The big machine takes these inputs, swallows them and spits out desks and drops them at your doorstep, while you walk your dog, lay in bed even more, or wait in line for brunch.

Or, do you go to the old San Francisco ways of Busvan for Bargains(probably now defunkt), or do you go to IKEA in Emeryville? That requires hopping in a vehicle crossing the Bay Bridge and negotiating traffic.

Alternative to all that is to get someones’ used one off of Craigslist. I started browsing Craiglist for desks under $200. There were quite a few, unsurprisingly. People come and go from San Francisco and there’s a whole economy of used stuff from the movement of people into and out of the city. I wanted to see if I could get something nice and “hyperlocal”.

So I browsed a few listings and actually found something I liked, which was close. And it was practically free. $5.00.


The desk was located on 41st Ave, and I’m on 47th. Could I negotiate carrying a desk for 8 blocks, without a car, just a hoodie, flip flops, and just use my hands?

Who does this?
Why choose this path?
Will it be filled with pain and suffering?

From the advertisement, I called a Canton gentleman and informed him I would be coming to his then residence to pick up the desk. He agreed, so I quickly rummaged around and found $2.00 in my wallet and $3.00 in spare change in my change jar on the kitchen counter bar, and set off.

He appeared to be moving. Boxes were strewn everywhere and his family was enjoying time in the living room as I could hear distant voices of his kids possibly playing some kind of game. I followed him into what appeared to be a study and just as the picture depicted, there was a foam corner on the desk to protect his babes. I mused at this internally temporarily. From their voices I guaged that the kids couldn’t be babies anymore and could aptly avoid the pitfalls of munchkin height. I wondered if he kept the foam on out of laziness or as a reminder that the kids were once younger, more adorable, more suceptible to things and the world. He seemed really nice, as if he himself, could be that rounded corner that we sometimes need to be for others. We began to move the desk downstairs.

When downstairs I promptly said ‘Gau dim sai lah’ and left, holding the desk with two hands over my head. 42nd, 43rd, 44th….Burn. Burn and pain started. The cold grey sky and gusting Westerly winds did absolutely nothing to quell my profuse sweating underneath my hoodie. My pants were also sort of falling down and I really didn’t care, I just kept walking. I turned this into some sort of game, where I conceded rest only by holding onto the desk, but never ever putting it down. I shifted, I squirmed, I adjusted. Constantly.
46th at the Bashful Bull Too.
It was too much I could not continue without putting it down.
But the concession was that I would write about it in return.
To let you know that I got a desk, and the modality of the aquisition was based on the tangential premises of wants, desires, true needs, energy, and suffering.


The desk and I are safe at home, and I’m writing this very piece on it, and I feel that it now has a story and has more meaning than if I just fed the machine.

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