When I was married, I’d sat at my desk for four months waiting to be transferred to another department, and because none of my superiors exactly knew when that was going to happen and since I no longer belonged to them as a resource who could be counted upon as a full-time equivalent, the best they could do was to ignore me. The truth of the matter is that no one gave a good triplicate form what I did during the day, and this, more than the fact that I had no work to do, came close to corrupting my spirit. I became a desk. Not a real desk, but a piece of furniture quiet with drawers that I retreated into where no one could give me the latest gossip about which department was being dismembered or who was on the cut list. I counted the number of push-pins in my stationary tray and arranged my paper clips so that they faced in the same direction. Sometimes I worked on my computer, but I’d been through the tutorials so many times before that I chose to turn on the screen saver and remain inside my desk. I’ve always been a person who likes to know how things are made.
Rabbet joints are common enough but it’s the fit between two planes of wood that’s crucial—for example, if the wood was originally sanded with several grades of paper, and whether the glue was allowed to set. A handle of one drawer was missing. The handle of another was coming loose, its screw revealed spirals of pink paint.