The Desk I Work From
The desk I work from these days is not a bed, personal belongings scattered across the coloured sheets. It’s a desk that still holds the books and papers our grandfather last read and bookmarked and saved. There’s a row of framed photos on this desk added to this today — of our grandparents and a great-grandparent. And my laptop, my makeshift classroom sits right between them. Our grandfather was elated when I told him I started teaching, a role he always wanted to continue in his lifetime. Once, when he learnt of the word selfie from a newspaper article, he asked me to take one with my students so he can see who these humans are. Another time he asked me if the college would make an exception for him and allow him to sit in my class to witness me teach. I weep tonight at the thought of his smile when he asked these things of me and I weep at the thought of being in the same room as him. And I weep because so much of me has died with his passing and it feels like nothing will ever be the same, no time will ever stitch together the person I was when they were around. No escape will ever cure the heaviness of the heart, no matter how far one goes or how hard one tries.