The Desk

Desk IMG_4491.png

We always had the cherry fold-down desk. A writing desk, with all of my father's secrets in it. When we were children, we were sure there was a gun in that third locked drawer. We could try and look into that drawer, but there were so many papers and folders and bits of slide presentations that we could hardly get that second drawer open to look inside. Mostly we didn't dare to.


It is solid cherry, with pigeon holes, and little drawers on the top part, filled with information about my father. It folded up so the writing surface hid the personal history inside. We only heard anbout the first marriage in my parents' loud fights after my mother had too many martinis and took her life's disappointments out on my father. A lesbian. A half-sister. Marrying off their daughters at a seemingly-too-young age. Blights for anyone of their generation.


The story was that my father was named after a French Napoleonic general. And he didn't have a middle name. But he did on some papers. In one of the drawers were rolls of purchased geneology, of what I know now were masks and trappings of a family that was not actually his. So much mystery; I guess that's what he wanted.

Richmond, VA, USA.