The Roll Top Desk in the Attic

My godmother, who happens to be my mother’s cousin, lives in Chelsea, in New York City, in an apartment that’s rather like a square.  Through the front door, there’s a bathroom immediately to the left, and a hall that leads to the end.  On the right, there’s a kitchen.  Beyond that (the end of the hall) is the living room.  On the left, two bedrooms.  All the rooms, except the bathroom, are connected either to the hall or other rooms by doors.  It’s a small apartment.

Once, when I was young, perhaps before I started writing (which was about fourth or fifth grade, give or take), I dreamt I was in my godmother’s apartment, and I opened the door between the bathroom and the bedroom (where, in reality, there is not only not a door, but no room for a door), climbed stairs which turned sharply to the right after a few steps, and entered the attic.

It was a full attic, with vaulted ceiling, exposed beams, and a window overlooking the garden (to my memory, no garden existed near that apartment building).  Next to that window was a roll top desk, and it was mine.

In real life, I’ve never had a roll top desk.  But apparently, in that long ago dream, I was already a writer with a desk of my own, and a garden, and an attic, in a place where such things were patently impossible.

That’s what life’s about, isn’t it?  Achieving the impossible.

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