Title: Eastrich
Subtext: Of the deskbound.
Date: 13 May 15 (Wednesday in the PM)
Time: 1 minute
Replies: 7
Revisions: 4
Publicity: Workshop

What was found inside a common desk in a large 8th grade study hall room circa 2001 at a Connecticut junior boarding school founded in 1920. Sixty of these kids in one room on a Sunday night for two hours.


– A dated copy of The Light in the Forest

– A torn first page of an application to a secondary school (St. George’s)

– A few Trapper Keeper folders, largely unused

– A composition notebook, almost completely uncomposed; on the inside cover “you suck” was inscribed; the first page had on it some science notes from what appears to have been the first day of class; the rest of the book was again mostly blank with the exception of a reappearing doodle, some expletives, an “I love _ _ _ _ _” puzzle, and some tic-tac-toe matches, all of which ended in a draw

– A hymnal printed in 1940 for the Protestant Episcopal Church


– Nothing but torn scraps of paper


– The other parts of the St. George’s application

– A Papermate blue ink ballpoint pen with no cap

– An 18″ section of industrial toilet paper (thin and coarse)

– A distorted paperclip

– A spiral bound notebook with all of the whitespace on the cover colored up by black ink

– A packet of artificial sweetener (a generic version of the pink brand)

Each drawer was cut with its share of chalk dust.


Elk » Authorship
Elk » 10:28 PM 13 May 15
Elk » 10:26 PM 13 May 15
Elk » 10:23 PM 13 May 15
Elk » 10:21 PM 13 May 15

The Thread (7)

 Author's voice in grey. 

  1. What do think of reworking the format of this? Maybe the list of desk contents itself is somehow part of the story? Who is the observer? What is he/she looking for in that desk? Something specific or just a desperate search for something novel?

  2. Yeah – it’d be great to rework in one such way. I always enjoyed it as a list because the lot of these elements coupled with the stated environment speaks the whole volume to those already in the know.

  3. I am one of those unfortunate enough to be in the know and this does indeed speak volumes. As is, it reminds me of Hemingway’s suggestion that the only true war story is a list of the names of the dead.

  4. It’s always worth considering, but I also like it as a list. And a good list at that.

  5. A list it stays!

  6. Something about this reminds me of a list that Raymond Carver’s wife found in his pocket after he had died.

    “eggs, peanut butter, hot choc, Australia? Antarctica?”

  7. Those are the two continents I also have yet to set foot on.

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