of noise and nooks

I feed on white noise. In fact, I sleep deepest with a clackety fan blowing by my head.

I can hole away in the back of a coffee shop, focusing through the hum of sips and chats and slaps on the back. But it’s different at home. (How can I say this without sounding too posh for my britches?) I think I’m an aesthete. (Yep, too posh.) What I mean is — it’s a trial and tribulation to work from home with so much beautiful, interesting clutter in my periphery.

The dirty dishes waiting to be washed with my laptop perched on the ledge above the sink blaring the Disney greats on repeat. The dining table waiting to be cleared of its pocket change and folded-up concert flyers and dog-eared human rights articles and flung-off jackets and army of hairpins. The enamel collander of motley vegetables waiting to be saved from the fruit flies’ nasal whining. The ungodly nest of fuzzy flowered socks with holey heels waiting to be driven from the dresser drawer.

I get too much of a kick out of all of this gorgeous muss. I need a writing nook.

So I bribed my sister-in-law into driving me out to a house in the suburbs where I wrestled the perkiest little desk I’ve ever seen down from its attic roost. I uncrumpled a tenner from my pocket and handed it to the woman, who shook the brassy hair out of her Golden Retriever eyes and told me how she sat tucked behind that desk all through the 70s. The fossilized wad of chewing gum under its front lip did, too.

Now it’s me that sits tucked behind the desk, landlocked into focus by the window and the old city wall. And I swear I can hear the whirring of a thousand stories through the wall’s 13th century bones. How’s that for white noise?


Where do you write?