Empty 12 oz. clear plastic cup with the dregs of a matcha** green tea slurpie and stamped round with a “floral motif representing the earth in bloom.” The bloom recycles but the underlying description has an initial cap and full stop, separated by a 10 mm translucent void. The message is clear as the cup: pictographs rule, words drool.
Also, an old cell flip phone that loses signal often enough to remind me not to rely on convenience, a gloomy black digital desk phone that semi-randomly forwards my calls (out of boredom?), an old photo of young Debby in beret and Travis in bunting at the beach when Trav was 6 months (still one of my favorites), two computer monitors, a wireless keyboard that also doubles as a crumb collector, a Dundee marmalade jar that has been my pen container since 1992, a lamp with a long thin neck bent like the swan’s when he tried to look three ways at once, infrared wireless headphones (I can’t have infrared vision, but I can have infrared hearing), a brown ceramic head of a French–really, Gallic–gnome to which I’ve taped a phome rubber beret phormerly attached–as they say–to a phone headset, a rumpled 4×6″ napkin the color of brown rice, and a homemade family photo collage printed on white card stock.
Most importantly, there’s a small charm to ward off the Evil Eye (and certain management)–a flattened shiny round stone with a gravity of 9.6 m s-2 and viscosity of 3-6 • 1019 Pa·s painted to look like a piercing sky blue eye, with a small hole drilled at the top of the sclera and strung with a short lanyard of matching sky blue: a gift from a friend’s visit to Turkey, along with a long gone box of addictive Turkish delight. My friend, who had no wish to bewitch me, gave me the ward first, then the candy. I also just noticed that my coffee mug, which I can only describe as the orange eye socket of a whale, is decorated with variations of the same charm.
I’ll end our journey across the tableland at the edge of my 2 drawer file in the tangle of a steadfast succulent vine (esculentus stabilis) that is older than at least one of my children. I won’t bore you with the walls, floor, small bookcase with its trail of river rock and sand dollars left by my daughter, or the contents of the file–which would give too much away.
** As in, “Matcha wattah wit me! Matcha wattah wit you?”