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Genesis of a Historical Novel

Monday, August 11, 2008

at my post

Back (or still) at my post.

Ah, yes, my post: here at this computer, at this desk. I call it "desk", but in fact it is a white melamine Scandinavian-style kitchen-table that Kimmie bought in 1985 when she was still single and living in an apartment. We were going out together and I had not yet moved in with her. I scolded her at the time for having lugged the table up the apartment-building's stairs by herself. She should have got me to do that--or at least got me to help her. But Kimmie, born in the year of the horse, is accustomed to carrying loads and thinks nothing of it. (I'm year of the dog--a harmonious companion of the horse, according to the Chinese texts.)

When we bought this townhouse in 1987, we also bought a pine table and chairs to serve as our dining suite, then situated immediately by the living-room, indeed as part of the same space. The white table was moved to the kitchen to function as the everyday table at which we ate. In late 1989, when Warren and I were trying to come up with TV shows after our success with "What's Wrong with Neil?", we bought a PC together--an early number with a text-only, black-and-white screen--and set it up here in my office. I needed a table for it, so I executed a plan Kimmie and I had been talking about, and moved the Ikea dining-furniture into the carpeted space adjoining the kitchen, clearing the living-room space for other uses, and brought the white table downstairs.

Kimmie was irritated that I'd stolen the white table, but I pointed out that I needed a table, it was the perfect size and type for my needs, and with our new dining configuration there was nowhere to put the white table in any case. I wasn't about to buy a new table, only to store the white one in the windowless concrete space of our storage-room. She was actually delighted with the change in the upstairs configuration, so quickly got over her loss.

The old Packard-Bell computer I finally replaced in December 1998 with a Dell that had an actual color monitor and graphical user interface. (I'd touched my first computer mouse in 1996 when I worked as a mail clerk at an ICBC claim center.) Since then I've become reasonably proficient in using a personal computer.

But I still have the old white table that Kimmie bought when we were first going out. It's my post--I'm at it.


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